[This is an expression that Highland Park originally created for Holland, but we bought this bottle at the distillery.]
On the nose, we got plum liqueur, rice wine vinegar, raisin bread, filbert paste, and prawn crisps: in other words, the exact contents of the picnic I keep in my glove box should I ever need to meet with another blackmailer in a clandestine location. There may also be notes of apple candies baked into shortbread. And hints of bird nests in a pine wood built by John’s perdicine ancestors.
The mouth is great, though it does make one’s palate feel as though it’s actively being rendered for maple syrup, despite the fact that I’m much more a Chilean Pine (an ex used to call me “Monkey Puzzle”–don’t ask). The mouthfeel is like, at first, slippery river stones fringed with moss, then, more subtly, footprints of a sandpiper left in the foam of a wave. The mouth also offers some smoke and a growing viscosity on the palate, like a baby bird in the nest mentioned on the nose, only there’s a campfire below us, and I’m waiting on my mom to give me the pulque she’s been masticating for what seems like hours. The mouth is so lovely, it’s like being hugged by eight of the nine Muses (excluded is the Muse of tragedy).
The finish is butter cookies minus the cookies, hints of cinnamon dressing on the world’s greatest salad, and smoked Taleggio. It’s long and lovely. Imagine parasailing behind a cigarette boat, then the line snaps, you hit a thermal, casually fire up a cigar, and slowly drift off into the horizon. Go with it and enjoy the ride.
–On the scale of great things about the ferry to Orkney–
The Highland Park 10 Year Old is the ice cream they sell onboard–Seemingly creamy in ways officials in other countries have long ago made illegal, it’s reliably great. It also tends to be unaffected by the prevalent fog, unlike the view. The coffee is much worse–unless you put a spoonful of the ice cream in it, in which case it’s quite notable.