It’s been quite some time since I last reviewed a Highland Park.
I last looked at one way back in July 2018 when I took a look at both The Dark and The Light expressions (both of which I enjoyed quite a lot) You can catch up with the article here:
Highland Park Twisted Tattoo is another released inspired by Viking mythology, this time the legend of the Midgard Serpent which encircled the earth. The artwork is designed in collaboration with famous tattoo artist Colin Dale who is an expert in Danish tattoos.
Lets put aside the marketing backstory, especially as that wasn’t what caught my attention. What did draw me to it was the fact it’s a combination of whiskies some of which was matured in Spanish Rioja (a red wine) seasoned casks and some in first fill bourbon casks before being married together. I’m always 50/50 on any sort of wine finished whisky and out of some sort of masochistic quest for a great one here I am.
Highland Park Twisted Tattoo (OB) 16 yo, 46.7%abv, (press sample)
The nose is initially quite fresh and intriguing. There is the sweet honeyed soft peat we always find in HP but there is also a light lemony zest, sherbet lemons and foamy banana sweets. There is a waft of vanilla but something darker lurks underneath…
Touches of earthiness, slightly dunnage-esque, mix with floral heather. Faint red fruits and distant raspberry jam come and go along with a waft of wedding cake icing, but on a lemon drizzle cake rather than a fruit cake.
The palate is rather fruity. Apricots, pineapples and gooseberry wrapped up in soft peat and a little wood. Theres a little ginger here with a drying spice. Given time there are some over – ripe red currants and a hint of kiwi.
To finish there is a twist of pepper alongside some drying oak. The earthiness pops back up and interplays nicely with the remnants of the initial peat. Right at the end there is aa little charred vanilla and some very faint leather.
Verdict? It’s OK. No more than that though.
There is a definite wine influence on the nose, but it pretty much tails off from there with its presence only appearing minimally on the palate and finish. Decent ABV, fits with the taste profile.
Coming it at £80 I can think of other drams I’d rather buy for that money but in terms of current market trends it is a 16 year old HP for admittedly less than I assumed it would be retailing at.
I’d probably rather invest an extra £20 and get a 18 year old if I was looking to spend on a Highland Park.
Something a little different costing a little less than you would expect.
You can find more Highland Park tasting notes in the Amateur Drammers Archives.
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