Highland Park 1989 26 YO Benchmark
Highland Park 1989 26 YO Benchmark, 46 %
An old Highland Park expression is under review today. This is an independent bottling from Murray McDavid. The Highland Park 1989 26 YO Benchmark was distilled in 1989, and bottled in October 2015. The total outturn was 698 bottles.
This whisky was initially matured in a bourbon barrel. We do not very often see bourbon barrel matured HP whisky - although there have been a few fine official bottlings the last few years (see HP Freya, HP Ice and HP Full Volume).
To add to the twist this particular bottling has been finished in a Banyuls wine cask (cask #10006). A ban-what? I hear you ask. Well, it appears that Banyuls is a French appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) for a fortified apéritif or dessert wine made in the French Pyrenees near the border to Spain.
You can get a bottle of the Highland Park 1989 26 YO Benchmark in Norway at NOK 2339 (8156301).
Nose: Caramel and ashes. Whiffs of heather honey. Vanilla. Soft and comforting. Top notes of wine gum and grapes.
Taste: Medium body. Peppery, with caramel and vanilla. Toast left in the toaster a few seconds too long, then covered with a thin spread of heather honey.
Finish: Long finish. Mixed peppers, creamy heather honey, and a pinch of ashes. A bit green in the end. Pine wood and dried herbs.
Comments: It is good, but very different from what I would expect from a Highland Park.
Sláinte! - Thomas