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Scotch Review: Highland Park 18 year


Highland Park 18 Year

Distiller: Highland Park Distillery
Spirit: Single Malt Scotch
Price: $99.90
ABV: 43%

Nose:
Heavy oak, soft smoke, honeydew, slight ginger and clove

Taste:
Honey, peat, oak, cocoa, dried fruit, sea water, spice

Finish:
Long and soft finish with fruit up front and a fair amount of smoke at the end. ‘Tis one incredibly smooth dram.

Cocktail:
Bullocks!

Bottle:
I have one major complain with this bottle, but first let me say what I like. I love the raised glass emblem beneath the label. The label itself offer elegant class, whilst offering a more mechanical appearance than some labels (there is something about it that screams “European Industrial Revolution”). The colors are beautiful, and although the text is a bit chaotic, there is a certain order which effortlessly leads your eyes from one intricate detail to the next. Now… for my only “beef” with this bottle: Why on earth would you put such an expensive dram in such a thin bottle? This thing is shaped like a giant’s flask, and it’s just about as stable as a guy who just drank the whole bottle. My advice to you: keep this bottle LOW to the ground.

Conclusion:
Richard:
When I first tasted this whisky a few months ago, I was blown away, and was convinced that I was enjoying the finest scotch in the world. There is so much hype behind this bottle with F. Paul Pacult naming it the finest spirit in the world (2005) and Jim Murray declaring it 2011’s finest single malt scotch; I put extra effort into coming to my own conclusions, and not being swayed by any sort of publicity. After all, Pacult and Murray offer only opinions, not facts. However, though I’ve tried, I cannot find any aspect of this whisky that isn’t captivating. The perfectly balanced peat, smoke, fruit, and spice combine to make one hell of an incredible drinking experience. Is this an everyday whisky? No. However, it is something special to be enjoyed several times throughout the year. So far, I have not had another Single Malt Scotch whisky that pleases me as greatly as Highland Park 18 year, regardless of price.



Reviewed by Richard Borean

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Categories: Reviews, Scotch, Single Malts

Scotch Review: Glenmorangie 18 Year

January 18, 2011 3 comments

 

Glenmorangie 18 Year:
Distiller: Glenmorangie
Spirit: Single Malt Scotch
Price: $114.90
ABV: 43%

Appearance:

Light caramel color that lightly coats the glass with few if any legs.

Nose:
Caramel, vanilla, fall spice, light smoke

Taste:
Grapefruit, orange, caramel, no peat/smoke, citrus, honey, creamy malt

Finish:
Heaven? Caramel stays through for the long run, slight sting on the tongue (which is goooood). Smooth x 1000. As the grapefruit disappears throughout the finish, it does make a comeback at the very end.

Cocktail:
If you think using a whisky that costs more than $115.00 in a cocktail is an reasonable decision, then please stop drinking immediately and check yourself into your local insane asylum.

Bottle:
One of the best bottles we’ve seen. We like our scotch bottles like we like our women — curvy and intoxicating — and this bottle delivers. A slightly minimalistic label with elegant lettering; the focus here is not on the label (like most bottles) but on the whisky itself. The thicker base allows light to enter regardless of where you place it, showing off the beautiful liquid inside. It also comes in a classy, bi-fold case which some might think is a bit presumptuous, but frankly, on a $100+ bottle, it should be viewed as insurance on your prized goods.

Conclusion:
Richard:
This is certainly the smoothest whisky I’ve ever tasted, and although I really enjoyed it, I cannot say that it was my favorite (or even close). While the palate was shockingly interesting with it’s bouquet of sweet citrus, I cannot imagine myself drinking this more than once or twice a year. I need to be in a specific mood for such a focused whisky; it’s fairly complex, but citrus it the overwhelming flavor, and that has never been my cup-o’-tea when it comes to whisky. It is an excellent dram — one smell, or sip is enough to show the craftsmanship, dedicated, and passion put into making it — but frankly, I have enjoyed many other scotches more than the Glenmorangie 18, and they didn’t cost an arm and a leg (which is about where this one will land you).

Scott:
Without question, this is the finest whisky I’ve ever tasted (but then again, I’m not usually in this price range). Layers upon layers of delicate, complex tastes here. Reserve for very special occasions.

Reviewed by Richard Borean and Scott Drenkard

Categories: Reviews, Scotch, Single Malts