Two new NAS whiskes have been released recently by HP, one is the ‘Dragon Legend’ intended for the EU market, and the ‘Magnus’, especially made for the US market. Both are different mostly as the ‘Dragon Legend’ is heavier on the peating levels, while this one is a sherried and crafted using a high proportion of Sherry seasoned American oak casks along with refill casks. The end result of this is a 40% whisky, with a vanilla / sherried profile, and not so much smoke. The pricing is not bad at all at $40, but with surging whisky prices, i wonder what casks went into the vatting… Bare in mind that this ‘Magnus’ is quite different from previous ‘Earl Magnus‘ and ‘Saint Magnus‘ releases (both awesome drops of liquid), it only shares the name…
Let’s taste this…
Highland Park ‘Magnus’, 40% abv, NAS, $40
Nose: It’s a nice nose, but not very powerful if i might say so, there’s some sherry notes in this one for sure, a lovely prune/ sultana / date mix, and some Orcadian peat as well. quite floral at time, with a touch of spice. does not feel too young, but certainly this is not the oldest offering from HP.. quite round and delicate feels a bit watered down, IMHO.
Palate: More of the dried fruit, some honey, butterscotch vanilla and clove, more wine (or sherry), a nice smoky-sweet note, with BBQ marinade that goes well with the sultana,prune combination. some pepper, and clove as well, rather rounded and tasty, with a hint of peat, and not much wood if you’re looking for that – this ain’t the place. bit watered down as well, and super gentle. Would have loved to taste this at 48 % and up.
Finish: butterscotch, cough candy, and some wine, and a hint of smoke.
The Magnus is a nice addition to the range, at a nice price point. While it could benefit from more %abv oomph, it’s got a nice sherried backbone, and some nice peaty goodness, while very easy to drink. It could be a nice introductory dram to the Highland Park distillery for whisky newbies. Not bad, but seasoned HP drinkers should look elsewhere.