Remember the Faberge shampoo commercial where Heather Locklear tells two friends about how great the shampoo is, “and then they told two friends, and so on, and so on…” until the TV screen fills with sixteen, small, happy, shiny-haired Heather Locklears extolling the virtues of this shampoo in a dissociative, cult-like uniformity?
Well, my adolescent mind thought it was perfectly sensible overpopulate the world in happy, freshly-shampooed Locklears. But now that I’m older, I want to believe that the same thing could happen with whisky. That’s why I’m telling Bill and Stephen about this great Highland Park expression and counting on them to tell two friends, and so on, and so on. In short order, we’d cover the planet in whisky with a nose not of Heather but of heather blossoms, peach tree branches pulled low by heavy fruit, and edamame shells in an apricot brine. Sail cloth used to filter pekoe tea, but poorly; mostly it pools until some drips through the seams.
The mouth is great. Forceful, fresh (in the sense of impertinence, not youth). Though there’s not the subtlety and depth I’d expect in an older HP, its essence is all the clearer, more pronounced, and more appreciated in virtue of that. Wax fruit based on a painting of Rembrandt of real fruit, by an art loving kitchen décor decorator. A pear held far away. But this pear has been cut into a ship and loaded with miniature barrels made from compacted peat. All day sour mint caramel sucker. Pineapple sage lollipop. Honey peat. Burnt tomatoes. In short, a full breakfast served on the Merry Pranksters bus on an acid trip.
The finish is briny. I want to say it’s the brine from Willy Wonka’s Sea-n-Candy World. The children are made to roll around in a seaweedy thatch, with fresh apricots, until the seagulls swoop down to recognize one of them as King of the Tide Pool. Licorice orcas leap into the air. Gummy narwhals leap through hoops in a complicated figure-8 pattern whose choreographer was fired after a mistimed leap brought screams from the audience and a widening haze of FD&C Red number 40 in the water.
–Our thanks to John Heffernan and Gordon & MacPhail for the sample!