The Perfect Fifth Highland Park 1987 31 Year Scotch
Nose: Pretty near perfect HP for its age, and one of the best examples of the distillery of that era I have nosed for a very long time. Slightly above average peat for a HP, which works perfectly in its favour. The usual heather honey has been skewed slightly by the heady mix of tannins and peat. The saltiness is profound, the oak a rich, spicy backbone. The sweetness is subtle and still honeyed, but more now a blend of Manuka and orange blossom. Truly magnificent!
Taste: Scotland’s silkiest malt at its most silky. The bold smoke on arrival is caught in the velvet gloves of the lightly oiled barley sugar, a dark liquorice sweetness spreading as the oak makes its mark. The spices are prim, proper and just so, never moving out of their set orbit while the honey starts to make its long-awaited mark, bringing with it the light smoke; a quick surge of exotic fruit underlines the antiquity with aplomb.
Finish: Long, increasingly smoky with the spices still teasing and forging a beautiful duet with the molassed sugars; the oak beats out an aged pulse but the phenols return to soften as well and entertain.
Balance: This is a malt whisky coming to the end of its life, like a star becomes a white dwarf before the end of its existence. In density is huge…and I mean gigantic. The oaks are about to explode…but the cask has been bottled in the nick of time where the balance is still near perfect. Fine margins…for a very fine whisky.
– JIM MURRAY’S WHISKY BIBLE 2020
Vintage | 1987
Strength | 47.1%
Bottled Year | 2019
Region | Orkney Islands
Cask Type | Sherry
Bottles | 185
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