Highland Park, 16yo

One of the drawbacks of the gaining popularity of whisky, is the increasing amount of wannabe-connoisseurs. How to recognize them ? Simply, they're the ones sending back a perfectly good single malt because there's a tiny ice block in it. Because "it's diluted with water" ! Dude, just go back to your bottles of Chivas or Jameson, shees !

That issue been vented, time for another tasting of one of my favorites : Highland Park, this time the 16yo variant. This Highland Park was created exclusively for global travel retail and duty free markets and was first released in October 2005, it was withdrawn in April 2010. I found this one liter treat while waiting for my plane in Budapest. One of the advantages of duty-free shops, is that they provide a more cheaper provisioning as whisky gets more and more expensive.

The color : amber
The nose : a wealth of floral bouquet, a speck of peat, layered with a thick honey aroma. This is gonna be a real treat !
The taste : oily, then some malt and full of pepper; and after that, spices and flowers. A loooong gentle aftertaste that keeps caressing your taste buds with marvelous caramelized fruit and honey.

Again a clear winner, but that's no surprise from a Highland Park.

Wouter Verhelst Wed, 12/29/2010 - 12:18

I'd brought a 12yo highland park with me from scotland, and got this one when I returned from my recent trip to the states. It's even better than the 12yo, with a rich aroma, very nice.

Macallan, 1999

The people behind The Macallan have managed to cultivate an 'exclusive' and luxurious brand perception, even though the distillery actually has the second largest production capacity in Scotland, right behind Glenfiddich. The distillery is Speyside’s best known heavyweight – and constantly embracing a new challenge : its current view is that the reaction between wood and sherry is also of great importance. This appears to wash out the harshest tannins and help release a rich, rounded spiciness. This is felt to be far more significant than any aromas and flavors imparted by the sherry itself. One rather extreme piece of research suggested that barely a third of aromas and flavors originated from the spirit, almost 60 per cent from the oak, and less than 10 per cent from the sherry.

That's why it's no surprise that my whisky reseller praised me the Macallan Gordon & McPhail 1999 vintage edition, as a must in every liquor cabinet. As I'm a man who's fond of good advice, the bottle was mine some minutes later.

The color : amber, dark gold.
The nose : sweet, fruity, typical Speyside. So far no surprises.
The taste : oh so sweet, could be creamy rum for what it's worth. Apples, honey, raisins. Some chocolate and malt, and after that, light sherry tones flowing in, with an amazing caramel candy aftertaste that lingers forever. Wonderfully complex and ditto balanced.

This Macallan is not good, it's excellent ! One of the best Speysides I've ever tasted. So sweet, so friendly, such a marvellous combination of sherry & whisky tastes.


Verleden zondag heb ik nogal onverwachts beslist om met onze 9 maand jonge Landseer hond mee te doen met het overgangsexamen van de B- naar de C-klas. En zie, tot mijn grote verbazing zijn we geslaagd - weliswaar met de achterpoten over de sloot, maar geslaagd is geslaagd, niet ? Na amper 2 maand in de B-klas, blijven we door de klassen heen sjezen.
En nu ? In de C-klas wordt het overgrote deel van de oefeningen zonder leiband gedaan, en wordt van de hond een perfecte gehoorzaamheid verwacht. Dat komt wel goed, maar de eerste reeks lessen zullen zwaar uitvallen, vrezen we...