As far as independent bottlers are concerned Gordon & Macphail has got to be the leading one for malt whisky. They have been in business since 1895 and are know to have one of, if not the biggest collection on casks from distilleries past and present to call on for bottling. They also became the owner of there own distillery 1993, with the purchase of Benromach in Forres. An all but derelict set of buildings at the time of purchase, with 5 years of painstaking renovation and development they recommenced whisky production in 1998.
They are know for producing some of the best independent bottling collections available, from the Connoisseurs choice range, Cask Strength range and The Macphail’s Collection to the exquisite Generations range. They have a collection to match everyone’s tastes and finances.
I’m quite a fan of Highland Park and thought this would be a nice addition to collection and offer an interesting comparison to the standard 12yo from the distillery.
Nose: starts sweet with a hint of fruit, some peaches in syrup also a hint of pear drops, some honey and a little subtle brine, then comes that distinctive soft smoke that is Highland Park.
Palate: The sweet fruit is present from the start with some peaches and pear as with the nose, some apple and a faint hint of oranges, the oak is present but not dominant, some black pepper gives a little kick, the smoke is also present but with a bit more of a bite than the nose.
Finish: Is typical Highland park such a creamy mouth feel, medium in length and refreshing so moreish.
I must say that I was quite surprised with this bottle it is Highland Park and you can not mistake it but at the same time it’s lively. You can tell it’s young but not in a bad way, it’s light and refreshing but with a substantial body to it.
It was great to try this side by side with another G&M bottling from HP (the 2005 cask strength which I’ll post my notes later), I must say this was the one that was most identifiable as HP and a great showcase for independent bottlings.