Highland Park Dark Origins
Highland Park Dark Origins, NAS, 46,8 %
Highland Park Dark Origins is the newest expression on offer from the prolific distillery on Orkney. This is a No Age Statement (NAS) whisky. On the bottle they have printed the message: "DOUBLE first fill sherry casks for a naturally DARKER, richer flavour". From what I understand this means they have doubled the relative share of first fill sherry casks in this whisky, compared to the regular Highland Park 12 YO. A full 80 % of the contents of Highland Park Dark Origins has been matured in first fill sherry casks, of which 3/4 are Spanish Oak, and 1/4 American Oak. The remaining 20 % has been matured in refill sherry casks.
I like the fact that it is non chill filtered and bottled at 46,8 %.
Highland Park Dark Origins has been released in Norway and will be available in Sweden on October 1, 2014. The price is NOK 700 (item number 1749601), and SEK 549 (item number 85129).
Nose (22/25): Mild and sweet smoke. Nuts, vanilla, fudge, white pepper, banana chocolate and of course sherry notes. I do not detect any sulphur notes here.
Taste (20/25): Caramel and dark fruits. Certainly some dark elements lurking in the shadows here. The honey that I often find in HP is just barely noticeable. There is some alcohol showing through as well, revealing that the contents here is a bit youngish?
Finish (21/25): More nuts, with added dark chocolate. The smokiness is a bit more pronounced now, but still quite easy going. More honey towards the finish, which is also lingering.
Balance (21/25): A nice enough dram. I do think this is a bit better than the standard 12 YO, but it does not even reach the ankles of the stunning Highland Park 18 YO.
Sláinte! - Thomas