We’re big fans of HP and have really enjoyed these special releases. And this offering makes quite an impression. The nose is exceptionally light. A ragout of wren marrow. Pin feathers and meringue cookies dropped from the Tower of Pisa in a test of gravity. A marshmallow crowded into a canvas bag with die packs and banded stacks of cash after a bank robbery.
If I were nosing this blind, I’d say it was Highland Parky. Mermaid-bacon smoke [Bill: Wouldn’t that make it Highland Porky?], Sherry Butt staves, but above all, floral. Grapefruit tree flower in full bloom, from which high-end mixed drinks with housemade bitters can be made. Make it a wet-hopped bespoke cocktail, with the bartender squeezing the last drips from a sachet she found at the back of Oscar Wilde’s silk ruffle drawer.
The mouth is delicious. Beautiful Fig Newtons made with kirsch-soaked dried plums and angel-sifted pastry flour. An ethnic minority of plaintains militating for revolution in a banana republic. A fireworks show viewed by a drone and then replayed backwards.
The finish is the sensation of sucking spring water through a straw made of gardenia petals. Sugar cookies in the shape of gingerbread men: lemon drop eyes, cream cheese mutton chops, and a rakish ascot from mascarpone cheese. On the open it’s candy candy candy candy. Fruit salad. Slight bitterness, like dandelion leaves in a large salad with shaved arugula. If the goal was to create a brilliant whisky that says, “I am a fantastic Highland Park,” then you have done well. I shall be applying forthwith to be Freya’s shield maiden.
The Highland Park Freya is the Althing of Iceland–Founded in 930 AD, you could argue a case in the Lögberg rationally…or you could bring a bunch of bad-ass Norsemen with big-ass swords and spears and win that way. I’d bring a case of the Highland Park Freya: Case opened, case closed!
–Our thanks to Steph Ridgway and Highland Park for the sample!