Highland Park-Glenlivet 1988 27 year old Claret Finish (Cadenhead’s)

Bottle: Cadenhead’s authentic collection standard bottling.

Nose: Dusty. Toffee apple, redcurrant and faint sea salt.

Body: Medium and a little waxy.

Palate: Turkish delight, a little orange zest and some clove in there too.

Finish: Orange juice & faint strawberry, white pepper and gentle sulphur.

Neat/Ice/Water: It’s a little hot drunk neat (53.3%) and a little watering goes a long way with this. A 27 year old might be susceptible to collapse when iced/watered down but not in this case. It improves in that the heat goes away yet the flavours remain basically intact only the orange gets even more pronounced. The palate is much sweeter too and the finish gains some white chocolate. Desert whisky for sure!

Verdict: Superior (with watering anyway). This is a very un-Highland Park Highland park. A bit of a strange experiment but one that turned out quite well. I don’t get what I usually get from wine cask finishes either so it’s non-conformist all round. I like this whisky, it’s not doing what it’s told… I picked it up a year ago and it sat at the back of my cabinet until recently when I stumbled across it all but forgotten. By now, with only 234 bottles you can only get it at auction I think for somewhere north of £100. Distilled in my last year of high school as it happens. Good work Cadenhead’s, keep ’em coming.

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