Scotch Whisky Review #342: Cadenhead’s Highland Park 28 Year (1988)
Distillery: Highland Park.
Age: 28 Year. Distilled in 1988. Bottled in 2016.
Cask Type: Sherry Butt.
Price: Sample courtesy of /u/FederalAgents.
Color: 1.3, Russet/Muscat. Non-Chill Filtered and Natural Color.
This whisky was reviewed blind.
Nose: It’s quite strong on the nose, it really clears the sinuses out. When I got past the initial onslaught of alcohol, there’s a bit of orchard fruit. Apples are the main one, and it is notes of apples that are just about to turn and start to ferment. There’s a gassy, mineral-y element here as well.
Palate: It’s super hot and really does need some water. I can’t taste anything at full strength but thankfully it does calm down quite well with a few drops of water. There are metallic notes with a bit of acetone. It’s quite mineral-y, like a super hard mineral water. A hint of apple cider comes around the back.
Finish: Medium in length. There’s a hint of burnt ends that makes it through the sea of metallic and mineral notes.
Guess: It has to be Highland Park. It’s definitely 55%+ ABV. Probably 20+ years of age.
Reveal: Cadenhead’s Highland Park 28 Year (1988)
Conclusion: /u/FederalAgents isn’t the first to have tried giving me a blind pour of Highland Park to see if he could break past my aversion to it (/u/KissMeElon‘s best Highland Park also fell victim to it). Unfortunately, I think it’s more than just a mental association now. Even blind, Highland Park is largely just okay for me at best and actively poor at worst. I really want to know what it is, I’ve speculated it’s literally something in the water on Orkney but who knows at this point. This was decent as I do enjoy mineral water, but it was far from something I’d prefer. If you’re reading this and thinking you should try a bottle, I’d ignore my ramblings and go for someone who actually does care for Highland Park because I’m just going to lead you astray.
Final Score: 73.
Scotch Whisky Review #342, Island Review #51, Whisky Network Review #492
- 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
- 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
- 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
- 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
- 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
- 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
- 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
- Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.