Highland Park 28, Cadenhead’s Wood Range – Wine Cask

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I forgot to take a picture when I took down the notes, only had a small sample.

This is an independently bottled malt from Highland Park distillery on the Isle of Orkney, bottled by the veteran bottler W.M. Cadenhead as part of their Wood Range. The Wood Range aims to show off the effects of various casks types on a whisky, this one being matured in a port hogshead for a little under 10 years (couldn’t find info on what it was matured in before that so going to assume refill bourbon).

My relationship with Highland Park is a complicated one. I generally tend to like their expressions which are less well received by the broader whisky community and don’t really like the ones that are. That coupled with the fact that it’s one of the more expensive brands in any market means I don’t really get the chance to try it all that often. But the long port maturation on this (I’m a sucker for port influenced whisky), and Cadenhead being a very trustworthy bottler, made me really want to give this one a shot.

Aged 28 years. 49.6% ABV. Partial maturation in a port hogshead. No colourant added, non-chill filtered and bottled at cask strength from a single cask.

Nose: Creamy vanilla. Rich wood. Fine coal dust. Fruit punch with an underlying layer of dust and something slightly ashy. Scorched fruits, blueberries.

Palate: Grassy. Some green herbs. Rich fruits and raisins. Powdered sugar. Some winey spice.

Finish: Long. Winey spice carries through. Coal dust. Black cherries. Sweet wine cake. Slightly drying tannins right at the end.

Would I buy this: Yes

Would I order this in a bar: Yes

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes

VFM: 2/5

Lovely sublime dram, all the various components meld together beautifully. The rich wood and fruit notes from the port gave it such a lovely, thick character. Really a work of art that needs to be drank over a long evening to be appreciated.

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