Here it is. The apex of the Highland Park line. In my eyes, anyway. The years have been infinitely kind here, as this maturity wears well. Heads and tails better than the 25 year old and also a few notches higher than the 40 year old. Sadly…to date…the 50 year old has yet to make its way to my glass. I cling to hope though. What else is there?
All that Highland Park promises in its younger bottlings is brought to full glorious realization here. The defining notes of smoke and heather and honey are in perfect harmony now (though some insist this is the case in the 18 year old variant as well). There is the vaguest notion of peat, subtle fruit cake nuances, mild eucalyptus and dried spiced apple. Said spices being perhaps nutmeg and cardamom.
The delivery is rich in eddies of smoke and infused dried fruit. It blooms on the tongue in layers of spice. Warming … coating … and slightly anesthetizing. The finish remains fruity and vibrant.
A few years down the line the 40 year old expression sits beneath an old elm tree waiting for you to make your way down the path. Though the journey is well worth the while, for some the destination may not be. Though a great malt in its own right, the 40 year old simply cannot top this one.
This, however…this is a damn fine spirit.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt