Highland Park 21 Year (Scottish Island Single Malt Whisky: Scotland: 21 Year: 47.5% ABV)

(Apparently this whisky is made exclusively for travel retail, which makes me wonder how I got it in the first place)

Visual: Deep seeped bronzed honey.

Viscosity: Slight puckering only for the first 30 seconds before finally a small set of infinitely slow streaks form.

Nose: Raisins, planed wood and vanilla. The abv is very evident. Hay. Water added brings out gingerbread, coriander and crushed orange peel. A touch more and you find carrot, whipped cream and crushed mint leaves.

Body: Plums, honeycomb, raisins and wood. Water adds golden syrup, more raisins, carrot, fruitcake raspberry and grass.

Finish: Chocolate, charring, slight salt and peat. More malt chocolate. Spirit soaked fruit, earthy and some grassiness again.

Conclusion: Highland Park always turns out good spirit, and this expression is no exception. Definitely needs a touch of water though as the high ABV burns out some of the flavour without.

An odd carrot and coriander feel to this whisky makes it an intriguing almost carrot cake drink. Fascinating though that may be, it doesn’t bring quite the spark I attribute to the 18 and 25 year versions of this Whisky.

It’s a more down to earth dram, that experiments with earthy grounded flavours, very much calling to the cut earth, turned peat and wild island environ in which it is made.

In a pinch I would call this the Farmers Yard delight of the Highland Parks, Down to earth and distinctly unsubtle, but with am enjoyable rough and ready quality