Nose: Cinnamon sticks, pine and ginger, with layers of chocolate-chip cookie dough and fruitcake bringing sweetness.
Palate: Plump raisins and roasted coffee beans, with light wisps of heather-y smoke appearing later on.
Finish: Mint chocolate ice cream, prunes, almonds and forest floor richness.
Story of Highland Park
A peat fire burns at the heart of Highland Park. An Orcadian peat fire to be precise. This is significant not just in retention of heritage, but in flavour terms.
Peat is made up from semi-decomposed vegetation laid down over thousands of years. That vegetation differs across Scotland depending on climatic condition all these millennia ago. When the peat is dried and then burned, the phenols (smoky aromas) released will have different aromas generated by this vegetation. Mainland peat is smokier because of there being more lignin from trees; Islay’s peat appears to have more marine vegetation and contains more creosol (picked up as tar); while Orcadian peat is composed entirely of sphagnum moss and heather. The result, once again, is a different aromatic spectrum, lightly smoky, but significantly more fragrant… heathery even.