Thanks to /u/devoz for sharing a dram of this.
So you’re having a whisky tasting. One of those times where you focus on your hobby and forget the horrible world outside that’s slowly burning down to the ground.
First, you had a light world whisky, then you had an interesting American whiskey, and thus we can start onto Scotch. And since we went wide, and our group doesn’t contain any of the peat averse, we’ll start with a lightly peated at the same time as starting Scotch.
But when someone says light peat, what do you think about? I mean other than the scorching pile of bodies and shit that make up the world? I actually blank.
Until someone mentioned Highland Park, and then I remember that they lightly peat their whisky. So the obvious is Highland Park 21 1979 Adelphi, a refill cask Highland Park that is a birthday year whisky for someone other than me.
Old Highland Park falls under that thing I hear older whisky nerds (not that old) discuss with high regard. So let’s see how this single cask does, shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Cask Number: 4164
Cask Type: Refill Cask
Number of Bottles: 261
Colour: 7.5Y 9/6
Nose: Tons of tropical fruit, butter, brine, grass, caramel
Youthful nose. Once you get past the tropics, of course. Which sounds like some sort of sicko’s vacation plans.
There’s a grassy note that I typically get off of brand new whiskies or white dog. It’s not welcome here and doesn’t bring good things to the table.
Taste: Pineapple, charred oak, caramel, lemongrass, peanut
More tropical fruit. Really I think you can almost jump ahead and I’ll keep mentioning it.
Water brings out more than just char and pineapple. Which is nice, as if I wanted that flavour I’d burn and juice a pineapple. It’s closer to a Pad Thai, but like some hipster dessert one.
Which if you make, no one will like you.
Finish: Oak, mango, fresh ginger, McDonald’s vanilla milkshake, almond butter, faint smoke
Alright, so the finish is why you drink this. Yes, it’s more tropical. Ignore that. After you get past it and then add water, it starts really, really ramping up.
Is this the same whisky? Have I been David Blained between the taste and the finish? Some water is added and boom, perfect finish, with good length, and great flavours?
Conclusion: Add water, it needs it.
Without water? It’s too much tropical fruit, and a youthful nose. With water? Youth leaves, it levels out. Then the taste. Without water? All pineapple and char. With? Boom, interesting Pad Thai.
The finish? Good without water, with tons of fresh ginger and mango. With water? One of the best, cheapest milkshakes around. And yeah, when I want a great milkshake, I don’t go to McDs. But when I want a McD’s Milkshake, there’s no replacement.
Props to a confusing dram that made me believe in street magic for a few moments.
Scotch review #923, Island review #103, Whisky Network reviews #1475