Showing posts with label Highland Park 2006 (Gordon & MacPhail). Show all posts
Showing posts with label Highland Park 2006 (Gordon & MacPhail). Show all posts

Highland Park 2006 (Gordon & MacPhail)

“The Old Fashioned Way”

Whisky Review # 1022

Country: Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
Region: Highlands - Islands - Orkney
Brand: Highland Park
Matured and Bottled By: Gordon & MacPhail, Elgin - Connoisseurs Choice Series
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Scotch Whisky - Cask # 4269 - 588 Bottles
Age: 14 Years - Distilled: 22-06-2006 - Bottled: 28-08-2020
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 60.1% (Cask Strength)
Maturation : Refill Sherry Puncheon
Chill Filtration: No
Average Price: US$ 150 (May 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: 😐 It's expensive but it does perform
Buying Advice: 👍 If you're into Dirty Malts like Springbank or Ledaig


Golden Amber (Natural Color)


Surprisingly timid despite the high ABV. Quite Dirty as well when compared to the clean mainstream Distillery bottlings. Bits of Sulphur and Phosphorus. The Alcohol is reasonably well-integrated. This HP does not give away its treasures easily so be sure to give it some time in the glass before nosing. You will be rewarded with a Mix of Floral, Fruity, Spicy and Mineral notes with some Coastal influences and some Smoke, Meat and Peat in the background.

Main Aromas:

Malted Barley, Buttered Toast, Wax, Honey, Meat and Shell-Fish on the BBC with a sprinkle of Lemon & Sea Salt, Grass, Campfire Smoke, Dirty Earth, Green Apple, Charred Oak, Garam Masala, Curry, Fresh Coriander and Cocoa Powder.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Vanillas, Smoked Ham, Chalk, Spent Matches, Heather, Wet Rocks, Iodine, Mint, White Bread with Banana and Peanut Butter, Homemade Dried Fruit/Nuts Energy Bars, Aniseed, Cinnamon and hints of Leather, Tobacco and Petrol.

Much stronger than the Nose would suggest. The Alcohol is certainly noticeable by now. The Palate is Bitter-Sweet and quite Dry and there's a Mineral and slightly Acid feel to it. This is no mainstream Viking HP. Lots of Spices and Herbs as well.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Barley, Salted Fudge/Caramel, Grass, Campfire Smoke, Dirty Peat, Chalk, Green Apple, Lemon, Wet Rocks, Charred Oak, Dried Herbs, Garam Masala, Curry, Pepper, Ginger and Strawberry Jam.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Heather-Honey, Buttered Toast, Toffee, Banana Bread, Dried Fruit like Sultanas & Figs, Orange-Flavored Dark Chocolate, Menthol and Licorice.


Quite Long and Dry. The Alcohol is quite noticeable at this point. There's a Dirty almost old-fashioned feel to this HP. I find Toasted Barley, Vanilla, Burnt Heather, Campfire Smoke, Dirty Earth, Tar, Soot, Salted Fudge, Smoked Ham, Grass, Green Apple, White Bread and Strawberries, Charred Oak, Banana Bread, Milk Chocolate, Lemon, Indian Spices, Pepper, Aniseed, Menthol and Licorice.

Drinking Advice:

I added a bit of Water and that helps to calm down the Alcohol of course. Nose & Palate do not change all that much but the Finish gets loads of Oak, Spices and Menthol. In this case I would advise you to try it both ways.

Rating: 8 (********)

Nose: 8 - Taste: 8.5 - Finish: 8

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

If the Final score is 8 or higher you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink.

Drinking Experience Neat: Interesting and Good


The distillery was founded in 1798 by David Robertson. It is located in the small town of Kirkwall on the isle of Orkney. Orkney is still quite strongly influenced by its Viking past & the distillery has increasingly used this past as a rather successful marketing tool. Highland Park currently produces around 2.5 million litres of Alcohol & is owned since 1997 by the Edrington Group. The core range basically consists of the 12 (Viking Honour), the 15 (Viking Heart), the 18 (Viking Pride), the 21, 25, 30 and 40 years, Cask Strength and Dragon Legend.

We visited Highland Park in May 2019 and I thoroughly enjoyed the visit despite the terrible weather. Orkney is a special place and I understand the tradition and the bond with the Viking ancestors. It's such a pity that the distillery regularly distorts this picture with mediocre, expensive "Cult" Single Malts based on that theme.

This was quite an interesting Tasting experience. Gordon & MacPhail almost never let me down. In this case they show us how Highland Park Malt could and maybe should taste. The distillery seems to be more focused on the mainstream Viking market and probably would not dare to scare off their mainstream followers with a Dirty old fashioned Malt like this. But Gordon & MacPhail can and they deliver. I understand that this expression is not for everyone and it would not sell millions of bottles. But if you like distilleries like Springbank, Glen Scotia and Tobermory you will certainly appreciate this version of a dirty Highland Park. It can't be cheap of course but it's worth the money. As a rule, most distilleries don't make this type of Whisky anymore. And that's a pity!

Cheers 🥃

Jan van den Ende                                                                        May 30, 2024