Highland Park – ‘The Dark’

After reviewing the Light , It’s time to review the previous edition named The Dark.HP The Dark is  special release of 28,000 bottles launched to  celebrate autumn and winter on Orkney (which now is long passed). The whisky itself is presented in a beautifully embossed black glass bottle, the serpent dragon design takes its inspiration from the great Norse sagas and embraces both the high sun of summer solstice and the low sun of winter solstice – the polar opposites of our island seasons – while the runic writing reflects the ancient carvings of Viking ancestors, on Orkney. A nice quote from the The Poetic Edda I found on the Hp site, is only fitting:

“Names then gave they to noon and twilight, morning they named, and the waning moon, night and evening, the years to number.”

Voluspa, The Poetic Edda, Verse 6

Besides, the lovely bottle (sharing the same design with Light, but using a different tint of glass), the whisky is bottled at a nice 52.9%, and was aged for 17 years..  at £190 it is not a cheap whisky by all means, and this is one of the reasons it’s still available online on the HP shop , and also on MoM

Highland Park, ‘The Dark’ , 17 yo , 52.9% , £190

Nose:  Dark and brooding  indeed, with a dark sweet backbone. Ripe berries, Smoky dried figs, and date with cinnamon and wood spices,ginger and very nice touches of old oak chests. Very nice start.. 
Palate : Bold and  spicy with big sherry influence, and the HP trademark peat smoke is here as well..  Dried fruit, ripe oranges, cinnamon and wood spices. It’s quite oak-centric , and I’m a fan of that as you know.. Ginger pepper and roasted coffee beans, black tea. Dark, right? 
Finish : smoky  dark chocolate, earthy and deep, bitter fresh coffee grounds. 

Conclusion:

Excellent stuff IMHO. I love the darker, fruity, sherried and roasted profile, with the smoke , citrus and the excellent wood touches. I am a sucker for this kind of profile, I know, and for this reason I am scoring this one a point above ‘The Light’ which was lovely indeed as well. Highland Park is indeed a distillery I like very much, and expressions like this one are the main reason. Good stuff. 190 quid is quite a lot of money on the other hand…

Score: 90/100

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