söndag 17 december 2017

Amrut Raw Cask 61,3% ABV – Dennis Steckel Selection!!!

Dear friends and followers alike! When working the Örebro Beer and Whiskyfestival about a month ago I passed by Clydesdales stand to have a chat with Dennis Steckel, the superfan of Amrut and founder of Amrutfever, to see what he had up his sleeve. 








Enthusiastically he pulled out an Amrut bottled in his honor!!! I asked him how this bottling and great news came about and he told me that one day he had mysteriously received a bunch of samples with the only instruction to choose his favorite. Having done so he did not think more about it, but, when arriving at the festival to work in the Clydesdale-stand he was presented with this bottling in his honor! Wow! Look how very happy Dennis looks about it all :)

Dennis clearly showing signs of The Amrut-Fever ;)
All I know about this whisky is that it has been finished in a sherry cask and that it has had almost no filtration at all, Raw Cask in it's essence. There are only 163 bottles available worldwide, and out of these around 50 are reserved for Sweden where it will be released at the state monopoly tomorrow (the 18th of December 2017). You can view the product here and order it here

Since I was allowed to draw a sample I now have the great joy and pleasure of presenting my review and notes below

Nose:
Very sweet and absolutely boasting of dark raisins, vanilla sweetness, vanilla creamyness and big/fat honey (light non-liquid honey). Also, there is a quite evident wood-yness but it sits very close to all the vanilla stuff so it does not really come across as being youngish. There is however a slight touch of yeast and/or new make in the distant, but, with thanks to the greedy angels this is all in the background. Above the woodyness, and encapsulating it, is a beautiful scent of very creamy orange peel that has a perfect sting of nutty and/or almondy alcohol to it, absolutely beautiful!


Taste: Wow! Starts of with great power and sting from the alcohol, and then things go very fast: salty and very intense, moving rapidly into a citrusfruity vanilla and from there fast into chunky marzipan and almonds, than moving swiftly into a spicy and very dry woodyness intermingling with dried figs. Then things start to slow down, my mouth is getting more dry and most of all there is a very interesting mix of somthing "sour" and sweet at the roof of my mouth. This finally fades away into more almonds, more dryness (this time a very soft dryness), and finally closing off with orange syrup and liquid light honey...


To sum up: This sure was a great pick by Dennis and a great tribute to him and his great and enthusiastic work with Amrutfever! Big thanks to the people at Clydesdale for the opportunity to try it and to review it before its release! Please make sure to follow my FB-page by clicking here, my instagram by clicking here and my twitter-page by clicking here. Copyright © and All Rights Reserved on all tasting notes and text by SamuelWhisky and pictures likewise belong to SamuelWhisky, unless stated. If you would like to use any material that belongs to SamuelWhisky or associated with SamuelWhisky, please ask by sending me an email to samuelkarlssonorebro[at]gmail.com and by stating the source

torsdag 7 december 2017

Peated anCnoc – Peatheart Batch 1 46% ABV!

Dear friends and followers alike! When working the Borlänge Beer and whiskyfestival a couple of weeks ago I passed by the stand of Berntsson Brands to see if there was anything that their Brand Ambassador Martin Tjäder wanted me to review for them, and of course there was, their all new anCnoc Peatheart Batch 1 in which the barley has been peated to 40ppm. Please feel free to read all about it by clicking here











Here in Sweden Peatheart will be launched at the state monopoly tomorrow and you can view the product by clicking here. Ok, let's see what we have here!

Nose: If i start by not nosing the peat itself, I notice first something reminding me of Iron/metal (however not rust), there is also a very interesting mix of cucumber- and limewater. Nosing the peat, it's very much not Islay peat, not very smoky but rather very grassy, ashes and sundried grass. all in all a kind of "watery", slightly hollow, peatyness. The strength does not at all say 46%, on the contrary very calm, still and smooth, no signs of newmake or yeast, so the word I'm looking for is probably mature. Finally, a slight, slight touch of vanilla pods


Taste:
Wow/Ouch! A lot more peat on the taste than what was on the nose, that's unexpected! Starts off on burnt/sundried Grass and salty (turkish pepper) peat, moves on into ashes with traces of vanilla, moving on again into "green/forest-y gunpowder" as well as fireworks (what some might associate with slight touches of sulphur), and finally in the aftertaste (which is quite long) there is a "herbs-and-spices" kind of medium dryness. What strikes me with the aftertaste is that when the medium dryness has grown and grown for quite a while (say 30-45 seconds) my mouth starts watering and a combination of white-sugar sweetness and vanilla fudge appears and evolves for quite a long time


To sum up:
This is definitely the most mature and "calm" peated anCnoc I've tasted so far (counting in it's big blast of peat in the beginning of the taste contrary to the nose). Given the dryness and very slight touch of vanilla there seems to be quite a lot of 2nd-fill bourbon casks in the mix, which I must say that I like since it really lets the house style of peated anCnoc come to the fore/front of the taste👌Big thanks to the people at Berntson for the chance to review this one and to be able to taste it before its release, Sláinte!

Please make sure to follow my FB-page by clicking here, my instagram by clicking here and my twitter-page by clicking here. Copyright © and All Rights Reserved on all tasting notes and text by SamuelWhisky and pictures likewise belong to SamuelWhisky, unless stated. If you would like to use any material that belongs to SamuelWhisky or associated with SamuelWhisky, please ask by sending me an email to samuelkarlssonorebro[at]gmail.com and by stating the source


pic belongs to systembolaget.se

tisdag 28 november 2017

Highland Park Single Cask 1674 Sweden exclusive – Vintersolståndet

Dear friends and followers alike! About two weeks ago I worked the Borlänge Beer and whiskyfestival for Edrington (my second time working this very cosy festival). To my great joy I discovered that we had a coming Highland Park Single Cask with us, yay! Luckily for me, I was given permission to try it right then and there, and below you will find my tasting notes.













But first some info: this is the fourth single cask released for Sweden (since the new single cask series began in the fall of 2016, not counting the one for SMAD). The whisky is 15 years old (2001/2017), the number of the cask is 1674, a refill sherry butt (in the case of HP meaning 2nd-fill), yielding 552 bottles in total. For reasons which you can read about here I do not know, and probably never will know, if the cask is made of european oak or american oak. 59 % is the ABV and 534 bottles will be released in Sweden at the state monopoly the day after tomorrow, in a so called web release. You can view the product by clicking here

What about the strange Swedish name of this SC-bottling?! "Vintersolståndet" simply translates into Winter solstice. Ok, let's see what we have here!


Nose:
A medium peatyness meets my nose. The peatyness has elements of a kind of burnt sugar-y touch, there is also a lot of medium dark honey and very sweet vanilla fudge-yness going on around the peatyness, mmm… In the center of the nose (”the very top register of the palate” as I usually put is) there is definitely a touch of peated lemon peal, in fact, smoked lemon peal. Finally, surrounding everything is a sweet, round, and very calm scent of light (liquid) honey, very signature for Highland Park

Taste:
Hoding the whisky in my mouth for just a couple of seconds, the whisky starts off very sugar-y sweet/syrup, but it moves very quickly (one second) into salty-ness, not sea salt, rather like salt liquorice. When swallowing I can really feel the ”alcohol vapours” rising in the roof of my mouth bringing with it a mix of old leather, sackcloth, and slightly burnt grass… it all vapours away quite cuickly to be taken over by light peat, peated coffee, peated lemon peal, some moutdrying vanilla, full-fat unwhipped cream at room temperature, and some more slightly burnt grass… residing in my mouth and on my tongue in the aftertaste there is a heather sweetness slowly being taken over by a very, very faint touch of orange flavoured milk chocolate.

To sum up:
In comparison with the previous HP SC for Sweden that I’ve tasted so far, that is the 6403 and the 2121, from memory, I would definitely rank this one as coming in on a second place after 6403. Considering that 6403 is 1st-fill sherry european oak (a hogshead), this is a very good ranking for being a refill sherry butt! Big thanks to the people at Edrington for the chance to review this one and to be able to taste it before its release, Sláinte!

Please make sure to follow my FB-page by clicking here, my instagram by clicking here and my twitter-page by clicking here. Copyright © and All Rights Reserved on all tasting notes and text by SamuelWhisky and pictures likewise belong to SamuelWhisky, unless stated. If you would like to use any material that belongs to SamuelWhisky or associated with SamuelWhisky, please ask by sending me an email to samuelkarlssonorebro[at]gmail.com and by stating the source

tisdag 21 november 2017

Springbank 14 yo Bourbon Wood – 55,8% ABV

Dear friends and followers alike! Yesterday I received a package from Symposion, containing a sample of a new limited release from Springbank! A 14 year old that has been matured solely in bourbon casks (size not stated), a combination of first fill and refill. It has been bottled at (vatting strength of) 55,8% ABV. The number of bottles for this release is 9000 and 534 of these will be released at the state monopoly here in Sweden in two days (the 23rd of November). You can view the product by clicking here








Ok, let's see what we have here!

Nose:
When opening the bottle and pouring the whisky a huge peatyness spread throughout the room, but when nosing it from the glass I first get a whiff of saltyness but then first and foremost sugar-y and sour freshly squeezed lemon juice. Below this layer consisting of a mix of salt and sugar/sour is a very, very ”broad” peatyness, drawing mostly towards leather and ”shoes” (with some complex element of brie cheese) but also, infact, a medium-fat vanilla intermingling with something reminding me of rhum and/or rhumraisin, or even something tequila-esque… very interesting indeed, especially the brie cheese element of the peatyness. Finally, shaking the glass vividly to stir up the scents, the centre of the nose is very, very citric. Ok, let’s have a taste!


Taste:
Wow! Peat, salt, peat, salt, more peat and more salt is what I get at the first tasting! Taking another sip, this time holding the whisky in my mouth for a couple of seconds before swallowing, I now get (besides all the peat and salt), a very peaty vanilla-ness, there is also some fruit in there, something like vanilla-banana and dried peach (jelly peach candy). When swallowing, the whisky gives lots and lots of warm leather peat (it really, really warms my throat and chest), and a great deal of dryness. There is also something like stable and horses (meaning ”farm”, however that would taste). The aftertaste holds a mixture of peat, smoke, and sweetness from mixed jelly candy (mostly of the color yellow and orange), and ends with, believe it or not, peated lemon curd. 

To sum up:
This is a great dram that I really recommend to anyone who likes a medium-complex peated whisky, with an emphasis on peat, salt, leather and yellow fruits! Yummy, I want more! Big thanks to the people at Symposion for the chance to review this one and to be able to taste it before its release, Sláinte!

Please make sure to follow my FB-page by clicking here, my instagram by clicking here and my twitter-page by clicking here. Copyright © and All Rights Reserved on all tasting notes and text by SamuelWhisky and pictures likewise belong to SamuelWhisky, unless stated. If you would like to use any material that belongs to SamuelWhisky or associated with SamuelWhisky, please ask by sending me an email to samuelkarlssonorebro[at]gmail.com and by stating the source

borrowed from whiskybase.com


tisdag 14 november 2017

Swedish whisky from Box Distillery: Quercus 1 – Robur 50,8% ABV!

Beautiful red-brown color!
Dear friends and followers alike! Last week I was very lucky to receive a package that contained a sample from from Swedish distillery Box – The high coast distillery! Yay! The sample contained the first release in their new series called "Quercus". This is what the write about the new series and about this Robur-edition:

"Quercus is a range from Box Distillery wherein we try to explore the tastes that different species of oak gives to the whisky. The first edition is named Robur after the European Oak (pedunculate oak), Quercus robur in Latin. Quercus robur is common in Europe, especially in Burgundy and Limousine where it’s widely used in the wine- and cognac industry. It’s also that species of oak you’ll find in Scandinavia up to the north of Stockholm"

The whisky was first matured in first-fill 200 litre bourbon casks, and then finished for seven months in new/virgin swedish oak. To read absolutely everything about the process, the age, the maturation etcetera please feel free to click here 

Here in Sweden, Quercus 1 – Robur will be released on the state monopoly this friday (17th of november) and you can view the product by clicking here. Ok, let's see what we have here!

Nose:
Starts off somewhat herb-y but most of all spicy. Behind the spicyness there is sawmill and planks, as well as ”dark” newly cut logs of spruce/fir. Beyond all this forest-yness hides a soft vanilla intermingling with something salt, I think the salt shows just a tad of peat. In the very depth of it all is something reminding me of cinnamon, maybe even nutmeg (?). Interestingly enough there is also cucumber-water and finally a lime cut in half left to dry for a couple of days on the kitchen bench…

Taste:
Starts of on medium salt and then BAM! A big, fat, instantly dry spicyness hits you! Two seconds later new wood comes bursting in, making quite an entrance indeed. The new wood dies quite quickly and makes way for even more dry spicyness. After that a beautiful medium (dry) vanilla taskes over and slowly evolves into something partly reminding me of brandy (and/or apple jucie), partly reminding me of cognac. The heat of the whisky (the ABV) evolves in my chest, at the same time as the taste moves on into dried figs, overripe red grapes and finally fades away into a general sugar-y sweetness

To sum up:
I have a very ambivalent relationship to whisky matured in new swedish oak. In general, from the ones I’ve tasted so far, I find it to be, for my taste, ”too much” of the ”new” and of the ”wood” on the nose, as well as this kind of ”spicyness” on the taste. For me, this whisky is by far the most sucessfull one matured in new swedish oak, this is because there is a great complexity in this one, both on the nose and on the taste. For me, it was still a tad ”too much” and a tad ”too spicy” (but I did not water the whisky and maybe this would bring it down a notch…). Finally, big thanks to the people at Box Distillery for sharing sending a sample and for the opportunity to taste it before the release! Sláinte!

Please make sure to follow my FB-page by clicking here, my instagram by clicking here and my twitter-page by clicking here. Copyright © and All Rights Reserved on all tasting notes and text by SamuelWhisky and pictures likewise belong to SamuelWhisky, unless stated. If you would like to use any material that belongs to SamuelWhisky or associated with SamuelWhisky, please ask by sending me an email to samuelkarlssonorebro[at]gmail.com and by stating the source

Picture belongs to Box Distillery

torsdag 19 oktober 2017

Whisky-honeymoon PART 3 – tasting Highland Park Valkyrie and Rebus30 10 year old

Dear friends and followers alike! Today I bring you PART 3 of my "Whisky-honeymoon" (sharing the whisky-related adventures that took place during the honeymoon me and my wife had in the beginning of this summer). For part one please click here. And yes, you are correct in noticing that part two, our visit to Bowmore Distillery has so far not yet been published, simmer down, it will come later (strangely enough, not very chronological ;) ).

Anyways, as you might remember from part one, before going to Islay my wife and I spent one night in Glasgow, and it was there that we more or less randomly bumped in to Martin Markvardsen (Senior Brand Ambassador at Highland Park) who turned out to accidentally be in Glasgow due to some travel-trouble. We joined Martin (and Vicky) at the Pot Still bar for some beers and whisky during which we told them that after Islay we were heading to Edinburgh, and guess what, so was Martin! While we were going there to do some touristing, he was going there to do four tastings (at the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian) for RebusFest30; a weekend of literature, art, film and music that celebrated 30 years of Ian Rankins iconic fictional detective John Rebus (read more about it here). Being very friendly and generous Martin told us that we were more than welcome to stop by and join him during one of the tastings! Jippie! 

When in Edinburgh it turned out that my wonderful and beautiful wife was more keen on doing some shopping, while myself of course was more keen on tasting some Highland Park! :) When entering the Waldorf this was the set-up that met my eyes



The Line-up for the tasting was Rebus30 HP 10yo, HP12, Valkyrie, HP18



Since I had already tasted HP 12yo and HP 18yo a number of times and on a number of occasions, I decided to focus solely on Rebus30 and Valkyrie during the tasting and therefor did tasting notes only of them. 



Highland Park Rebus30 10 year old 40% ABV
The liquid in Rebus30 is the same as in the regular HP 10yo meaning, what separates the two is the presentation/the bottle itself.

Nose:
Increadibly creamy, lots of vanilla, in fact a very peaty-sugary/sweet/fruity/fudge-y kind of vanilla. Just a wee touch of yeast (wash) in here. The fruits are candy-peach, banana-something, medium ripe pear, and sugar syrup with lime juice. The peatyness is so smooth and absolutely soaked with soft but kind of fat vanilla. Concluding from the nose, a majority of the liquid in this one must have been matured in american oak sherry casks rather than european oak sherry casks. 

Taste:
Definitely starts off creamy! In fact, increadibly creamy, together with peach candy and overripe banana and/or banana jelly candy. Then some saltyness takes over, quickly moving on into a peaty spicyness. Medium dry or even very dry in the aftertaste. The creamyness in the beginning is very rich on vanilla and some banana jelly candy, but the main focus in the taste is definitely the peaty spice-yness. Great dram, and not as "simple" in style as I had thought it would be.



Highland Park Valkyrie 45,9% ABV 
Valkyrie is the first release in a series of three whiskies, each one of them telling a Viking Legend. The story of Valkyrie goes: "Plunging down from the dark heavens, the Valkyries would descend like avenging angels on horseback to comb the battlefields for the bravest of the fallen warriors, heroes fit to enter the great Norse god Odin’s hall, Valhalla" (please feel free to read more about it here). Here in Sweden Valkyrie will be released at the state-monopoly tomorrow (view the product by clicking here).

Now, from a whisky point of view, what sets Valkyrie apart from the "regular" HP-range? Well, it's the fact that it's peatier! In what way? Half of the whisky in the mix consists of whisky made from their heavily peated recipe, meaning made only from their own produced 45 ppm malt. The rest of the content consists of their "usual" recipe; made through mixing their 45 ppm malt (1 part) with the 0ppm malt (4 parts) they order from Simpsons Malting. For recipe in terms of the composition of casks for Valkyrie please do take a look at this video (from 5:50 minutes and onward) with Gordon Motion (Master Whisky Maker at Highland Park). Now what Gordon does not tell us in the video is the ages that went into Valkyrie. However, do not despair, during the tasting Martin told us the following: the 45ppm part is between 8-10yo, and the rest of the whisky is 17yo at it's oldest.  

Nose:
Definitely more peaty than the "normal" Highland Parks I've had so far, and definitely more peaty than the other three whiskies in the line-up. The peatyness seems almost toasted or medium charred. We have beautiful scents of dark oloroso sherry sweetness in here, but the interesting thing is that the sherry sweetness has an overtone of something citric (maybe something like lemon juice) and also very interesting some touches of watermelon (!) and salt liquorice. Covering/surrounding everything but the heavy peatyness is a beautiful heather-honey sweetness.
















Taste:
Starts off very salty and quite vanilla-ish, but then "BAM!", the peatyness hits, and oh boy the peatyness is spicy indeed. After the spice and peat mellows down we have a beautiful creamyness mixed with sun dried grass in a field, and also mixed with bitter salad/greens (maybe something like ruccola). The fruityness in this one is smoked and/or ovendried slices of pear, together with dark and sort of "smoked raisins". Very interesting tastes and flavours in this one due to the high peatyness, a very "different" HP because of this. Ends with a soft and rich touch of vanilla and citrus (mellow and not to citric lemon curd).

Always great to meet Martin! And always time for a photo shoot :)
Martin holding Rebus30 10yo and myself holding Rebus30 30yo, one of very few bottles
produced for the Rebusfest and put away for charity auction.
Big thanks to Martin for inviting me to the tasting and for making my Whisky-honeymoon even more special, Sláinte! 

Please make sure to follow my FB-page by clicking here, my instagram by clicking here and my twitter-page by clicking here. Copyright © and All Rights Reserved on all tasting notes and text by SamuelWhisky and pictures likewise belong to SamuelWhisky, unless stated. If you would like to use any material that belongs to SamuelWhisky or associated with SamuelWhisky, please ask by sending me an email to samuelkarlssonorebro[at]gmail.com and by stating the source

torsdag 12 oktober 2017

The launch of Highland Park Single Cask no.3429 for Viking Line Cinderella!!!

Dear friends and followers alike! Three weeks ago (Friday the 22nd of September) I attended the launch event of the second Highland Park single cask for Viking Line (that is, the second single cask for Viking Line since the new SC-series started in 2016), also referred to as Viking Line Batch 2. But before we get into all the details of this particular whisky, and my tasting notes and thoughts about it, let’s start from the beginning ☺

On the 17th of July, Dave Francis (Global Brand Ambassador for Edrington Travel Retail), announced on the FB-page ’Highland Park Appreciation Society’ (HPAS) that he, on the 22nd  of September, would be launching the second Viking Line Single Cask on board the cruise ship/ferry Cinderella. Of course I booked the tickets for my wife and I as soon as I had read this great news!  

After what felt like a really long summer the day had finally come and we boarded the ferry early in the evening the day of the event. We threw our bags in the cabin and immediately went to put ourselves in line outside the venue for the event (Etage).  

Dave holding the hammer and the driver for the competition. Behind him a table full of SC!
The event
Around 30 people, mostly members of the HPAS slowly started gathering outside the venue. When the doors finally opened a sight for sore eyes met us; one table was fully set with a fairly newly released HP called Voyage of the Raven (travel retail exclusive), and another table was fully set with the SC that was the main character for the event!

As an initial welcome, Dave presented Voyage of the Raven

This is what I know about it from the presentation: 80 to 90 per cent of the liquid has been matured in first-fill sherry casks, a mix of both European oak and American oak (we were given no information about the ratio between them, and as far as I remember no info about the casks used for the other 10-20 per cent). The sherry casks used for this bottling have, just as for all other sherry casks used by HP, been seasoned with Oloroso sherry for 2 years before being filled with HP new make. Dave also mentioned that one part of the liquid consists of their heavily peated recipe, meaning made only from their 45 ppm malt that has not been mixed with their “usual” 12-15 ppm malt, i.e. the recipe they end up with after mixing their 45 ppm malt with the 0ppm malt they order from Simpsons Malting. (We were given no information about the ratio between 45 ppm and 12-15 ppm malt in this particular whisky, and no information about the age and/or different ages used for this whisky).     


My tasting notes of Voyage of the Raven 41,3% ABV 
Nose:
Sweet liquorice in combination with a mix of red dried apple slices and jelly pear candy, all in all with a touch of light honey (”hard” honey, not liquid). The peat, which is definitely stronger than in any core range HP I’ve tried, is slightly burnt in style. There’s a medium presence of vanilla, which is also slightly burnt. 

Taste:
Starts of quite salty indeed! (This is probably due to the extra peaty-ness). The salt transitions very fast into a medium and quite compact peat intermingling with some ”exotic” fruit (subdued pineapple, peach, and oven dried apple slices comes to mind). Roasted almonds and burnt vanilla-infused cream is the flavour that sets the aftertaste in motion. Almond paste and a slight touch of dryness sets and end to the aftertaste together with a mix of honey sweetness and some burnt ashy peat. 


My concluding thoughts:
Given the high proportion of first fill sherry casks I am surprised to find no obvious signs of sherry on the nose or on the taste. I am definitely convinced that there are more american oak sherry casks in then mix than there are european oak sherry casks. Also, the 10-20 per cent in the mix that is not sherry casks is most likely bourbon casks. Voyage of the Raven is, in my world, a "simple" (not so complex) dram. Of course there is nothing wrong with a "simple" dram, but given the high proportion of first fill sherry casks I had anticipated lot more signs of sherry and a wee bit more complexity, both on the nose and on the taste. The overall style of this HP is from my point of view best described as a ”simple and more than normal peated HP” and this is also what I will remember when thinking back on it. It is interesting that the peatyness is burnt and even ashy, and this is also what makes it special to other more “easy going” core range HP. If I were to compare this HP to other HPs’ of similar cost, I’d rank both Dark Origins and Valkyrie higher. If I want to enjoy a heavily sherried HP of similar cost I’ll go for Dark Origins, and If I want to enjoy a more than normal peated HP of similar cost I’ll go for the Valkyrie.


After having tasted Voyage of the Raven, Dave introduced a fun, interesting, and for me very hard ‘Guess the weight Competition’! Read all about it in this picture (click to enlarge):



Info on Single Cask no.3429 and my tasting notes
When everyone had handed in their guesses for the competition, Dave introduced the new single cask bottled exclusively for Viking Line Cinderella.


The cask number is 3429, and this time around the whisky has been matured in a refill sherry hogshead (please note that according to Martin Markvardsen, “refill” for HP means 2nd fill). I asked Dave if this particular hogshead was made from American oak or European oak and he told us that he sadly didn’t know. The reason for this is twofold: 1). Once the casks go from first fill to refill they no longer keep any notes or any record of the kind of oak. 2). "...sometimes when repairing the casks some of the staves are replaced and they may not be from the same species of oak. Therefore we just state refill..." (additional info from Dave as a comment to my post in the HPAS FB-group).

This particular cask was filled on the 22nd of August 2002. In an email conversation with Dave he told me that the bottling was done in September, but that the cask was “tipped a few days or a week before bottling” making the whisky “very nearly a 15yo”. Hence, it is at least safe to say that the whisky was emptied from the cask before the 22nd of August ☺ The strength is 54,7% ABV and the cask gave only 258 bottles.


Nose:
The first layer is absolutely drenched with extremely dry and dark sherry! Every dried fruit you associate with dark fat sherry maturation is here to be found; dark moist raisins, dried figs, dried moist dates, and whatever else kinds of dried fruits you may associate with sherry bombs such as this one. There is also a very earthy and soil-y note going on, of course paired with a fat heather-honey peatyness. Actually, the peat is extraordinarily dark and earthy in this HP and has hints of salt liquorice, wow! The second layer is very rich on peel from orange but mostly drawing on grape peel, and the white inside of the peel is there too. This definitely contributes to the dryness of the nose. In the third and last layer, the very top of the register, there is an extreme acidulous scent, in fact it’s almost like vinegar and freshly squeezed lemon jucie, in some way being hold up by the dark moist raisins, wow!


Taste:
Mmm, this is such a great dram! Starts of on medium salty-ness combined with the vinegar (!) from the third layer, and in two seconds or so it moves on into a beautiful raisin sweetness, even overripe red grapes-sweetness. This in turn moves on into a beautiful fat or ”broad”, confident peaty-ness, wow! Then, after five seconds or so, there is a very interesting flavour of earthy vanilla fudge, even coffee flavoured vanilla fudge flies by in a whiff. The first aftertaste has slight touches of black pepper and the late aftertaste is dry, dry, and dry. The things that stay in my mouth at the very end is a dry earthy peaty-ness, dry vanilla and and a somewhat sour sweetness at the roof of the mouth.

OMG!

My concluding thoughts:
This must be european oak! Anyways, such an interesting nose, you can nose it forever. The taste shows perfect balance, and such great transitions between the different tastes, this is insanely good. This is absolutely one of the best Highland Park Single Cask bottlings I’ve had so far, it’s up there with the first one for Sweden (6403)! Wow, just wow!

SamuelWhisky to the left and Dave to the right!

After having tasted the single cask Dave mentioned that we were all very welcome to stay in the venue during the evening to enjoy 3 special HP-themed cocktails!

I enjoyed a "Harald Sour". A great experience to taste a whisky sour with HP in it! Yummie!
For those of you who did not make it to the event but want to get a feeling of the vibe, here are the cocktails and their recipes:

Einar in the woods
2cl HP Einar
2cl Chambord (blackberry liqueur)
3 cl lime juice
1cl caramel syrup
4 cl blueberry (juice)
Eggwhite

Harald sour
A whisky sour with HP Harald
1cl of caramel syrup instead of usual sugar syrup

Sveins mistress
4 cl HP Svein
4 cl raspberry-purée
4 cl cinnamon syrup
2,5 cl lemon juice
5 cl Sprite
Shake and serve in a hurricaneglass with crushed ice

Yay! HP-cocktails!!!

The private shopping session the day after
In the morning the day after the event we all waited outside the tax free shop and were let in at 9.30. All of us held on tight to our one voucher that entitled us to purchase one bottle each of the single cask. When we made it to the stand...

Finally!
...Dave told us to go on a treasure hunt; scattered around the shop he had hid a number of single cask bottles and if you found one you were entitled to purchase an extra! Very generous indeed! Also, for every bottle you picked up (I bought one) a piece of the actual cask used for maturing the SC was included in the purchase!

So cool to see how deep the toasting level goes, and how deep the whisky penetrates into the wood! 
Such a cool treat and such a great scent to that piece of cask! Mmm… ☺


Ending the private shopping session Dave also revealed the winners of the Guess the weight Competition; one lucky attender won a private tasting, and the runners up won a bottle of Svein ☺

Big thanks and Sláinte to Highland Park and to Dave for a great event!

Very happy indeed! 

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