I recently found this little cave/restaurant/bar a few hundred meters from my apartment here in Paris. I also discovered that you can taste some true little gems in there , like this Highland Park 1999, bottled in 2016 by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. Aged for more than 16 years in a first fill ex-bourbon barrel, in the glass it’s like it speaks to all my senses saying… drink me! My only regret is that I’m moving out of Paris in a few months and that I didn’t find this place sooner!
Nose: Malt and salt, with a very light and soft peat smoke blowing from far away. There is something spicy (the ginger of its name is fooling me into it, maybe?), along with some sweet pineapple and… yeah, I guess I sniff some sweet green tea, and that I am probably very influenced by what I read. Quite some alcohol, but that’s fine. Oh, I like it. A lot. With water it becomes more sugary, pungent, full of, well, whisky! Sexy and intense, it’s kind of oily, yet fresh and luxurious. More complex than I thought.
Taste: The first impression is of malt. It’s mouth-drying, solid. Full of tasty wheat-like flavors, but there is much more than that. It’s intense, a bit grassy, mineral. And dirty, just how I like it. And it’s also fresh, and briny, with that wisp of smoke that deepens the profile. Sexy e fat. With water it becomes less aggressive, and even tastier! It’s really a bang, intense and oily and big, yet with a weird elegance in it. Very nice. Fruity to the right point, too (apples and pineapples).
Finish: Medium length, pungent, with that green tea and some mint. Something like lemon rind, too.
Overall: A majestic Highland Park smelling and tasting like a Highland Park should, without any weird finish or exotic wood maturation. 92/100 for me, really really cool. It’s a great bottling by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, this one, I loved it!