On Wednesday 29th August I had the pleasure of taking part in the Highland Park Tweet tasting.
I was really happy to have been chosen for this one as this was the first distillery I ever visited back in 1993.
This tasting was held to introduce the new collection which were developed exclusively for travel retail, and we would be sampling:
Spirit of the Bear – 40% abv
Loyalty of the Wolf – 42.3% abv 14 years old
Wings of the Eagle – 44.5% abv 16 years old
Viking Pride Travel Edition – 46% abv 18 years old
So in order of the above, the first whisky to try is Spirit of the Bear, fragrant nose. Lots of vanilla, light sweet smokiness…gently spiced, buttery caramel. The palate has quite a smooth mouthfeel, hints of spice and a hint of wood, vanilla and ginger. It’s dry on the palate too.
Next the Loyalty of the Wolf.
On the nose a good amount of vanilla again. Quite a fresh nose. A hint of candle wax…we know there’s a touch of smokiness to it… I was getting a lovely vanilla laced cake note. Moving on to the taste, vanilla coming to the fore along with some lovely cinnamon. There’s a slight bitterness, like black tea. A slightly waxy mouthfeel.
smoke is more apparent on the nose, a nip of spice on the senses. A lovely hint of chocolate and a slight note of leather…I think best described as ‘warm leather”.
The palate has a richer mouthfeel. Warming spice, a hint of vanilla and a softness to it, so a slightly viscous feel. Maybe a little fudge. Sweet dryness at the end.
Last dram of the tasting was the Viking Pride Travel Edition. The nose definitely a hint of nail polish (not a bad thing) quite a nice warm fragrance with honey. Slight hint of caramel.
This dram has a lovely mouthfeel with a lovely hint of cherry. Slightly thicker mouthfeel, bitter again and probably a good bitter dark chocolate. Spicy warm hit at the end. Slightly oily.
So my favourite of the evening? I think it has to be the Viking Pride… then the Wings of the Eagle a close second. The Spirit of the Bear had a slightly thin mouthfeel which just felt a little lacking for me personally.
An interesting tasting however, and a lovely reminder of my first distillery visit many years ago thanks to Highland Park for allowing me to be part of this tasting this evening. Thanks also to Steve Rush.