So a Canadian walks into a bar (in Canada), and finds a Scotch he’s never reviewed.
He falls dead at that point, only to realize he had already died and gone to Heaven, mostly due to his staunch agnostic atheistic attitudes and love of butter, oil, and fattening foods, specifically pork.
This could have been me, but somehow my heart is still going.
Highland Park 10 is hardly a rare find, or something most people would get gitty about. It’s the same process of the typical Highland Park, which includes both sherry and bourbon casks, aging by the sea, a light amount of peat, and two others that come down to technique and quality.
However they’ve made it two years younger than the old Standard offering, which made our collective heads scratch. Add on that it’s at quite a few provincially run alcohol stores and the low alcohol, and one wonders if this was made to stay competitive in a market that hates what it sells and charges a premium.
None the less, I was happy to see the whisky. And then very happy to have a chacuterie plate to ensure I can’t walk into another bar without my heart literally skipping a beat.
So, let’s see how this one tastes, shall we?
Price: $64.95 (CAD) at the LCBO
Colour: 5Y 9/6
Nose: Passionfruit, embers, grapefruit, currant, molasses
Very fruit forward, lots of acidity, and the slight amount of peat shows through. A little.
Nothing insane, however different flavours on the nose. It’s quite light, as expected for the abv., though not enough that I’m lost. Just kinda lost. The usual kind of lost.
Taste: Soft peat/charcoal, oak, anise, peach
Again the peat asserts itself more than other Highland Parks I have had. Jumps between fruit and peat.
You know, like you did in college, hurting peat like that. Jerk.
Finish: Oak, grape, ginger, mushroom, simple syrup
Spice shows up at the end, as well as the earth aspects.
This is young, and the youth shows up the most in the finish. Simpler, almost harsh notes, though rounded out by what I can assume is hard work and an understanding of what they were making.
Conclusion: Is this a substitute for Highland Park 12? No, not at all.
Is it a horrible gimmick that should be skipped? I can’t say yes to that. Which means no.
Suffice to say this is a fruit forward dram that has some of the characteristics of Highland Park. It’s missing the acidity of others, and is slightly more peat forward. Beyond that it’s less complex and the nose is really, really light.
I could see this as the bottle you have to introduce new people and not spend a lot. Or to mix with Drambuie. Or as a slight step up from Johnny Walker Black. Otherwise it’s just another notch in my headboard.
Man, I gotta get a new headboard.
Scotch review #475, Island review #43, Whisky Network review #778