Highland Park Dark Origins

Bottle: Standard HP shape but with blackened glass so you can’t see the spirit until poured. The label tells me it’s a double first fill sherry cask maturation.

Nose: Dry, musty, cocoa and cinnamon. Some orange peel and liquorice too. Not a huge nose on it. A bit of lit match sulphur creeps in every now and again.

Body: Based on the first fill sherry cask claim I was actually expecting the colour to be darker than it is. Some refill or other cask types in here as well I believe. It’s at the more viscous end of medium bodied.

Palate: The cocoa and liquorice notes maintain. A touch of marzipan and orange in the fade. A little sulphur again.

Finish: Very short. The same flavours remain essentially but tail off quite quickly.

Neat/Ice/Water: Neat. Any watering and it falls apart. I was hoping something else might emerge but it went the other way.

Verdict: Average. There is no way this justifies the £60 price tag that comes with it. It’s just not that good. I can get HP12 for £25 most of the time and that is a superior dram. This is the dark side of NAS whiskies where I suspect the marketing takes over in order to sell substandard product. You can drink it but it’s unremarkable and overpriced. Fortunately for me it was a parting gift from work mates when I left my last job so it didn’t cost me a penny. The first real disappointment I’ve had from this great distillery.

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