The story behind this one was that I was having trouble purchasing this Highland Park when it became available. So my London-based friend also tried… In the end, we both were successful! Which proved to be a good thing as one bottle went almost immediately to India to be sampled on a special evening. Whilst its sibling remained in London…. to later also make most of its way to Bombay!
From our London evening, October 2022:
- Nose – Fabulous nose – big and full, mineral, a bit of ‘funky forest’, earthy which a fresh maritime sea breeze, then started to shift to sweet heavy fruit, then back to grass stalks, aromatic and herbal with woodruff, sage…. waxy and happy, a touch of sandalwood and tobacco leaf
- Palate – So much going on, spice, peat, fruit, a “wake up” dram that became sweeter and sweeter
- Finish – A huge finish, orange marmalade with cinnamon spice
- Revisit – So incredibly fruity, a veritable fruit basket, especially orange and sweet spices, some leather on the palate, cornflakes drowned in milk, exceedingly tasty
From our Mumbai evenings in November 2022:
- Nose – A bit acetone at first, a bit sharp, then shifts to sea breeze – coming and going like the ebb and flow of the tide, hay, vegetal then it began to open up revealing some fruity elements – particularly citrus,. The more time in the glass, the sweeter it became -condensed milk, not quite a toffee sweetness… more like a dulce de leche,
- Palate – Sechuan peppers and a bit astringent at first, then sweetened into warm sprite
- Finish – Spicey, dry wood
- Water – On the nose, it flattens the aromas… bringing back a bit of that light sea breeze, joined by sweet milk however it is rather nice how water opens up the palate – that vegetal element shifts into sweet roasted root vegetables, lightly caramelized then fruity… which continues on to the finish – nice!
Particularly with the Whisky Ladies, there was a real range of reactions to this one… It was also such a contrast to our previous drams…each bringing quite different characters. For the gents, I changed the tasting order bringing this into 3rd rather than last place and think that worked much better – we could more readily discern the different elements and enjoy it for what it is.
Here are a few more Cholton’s from La Nouvelle Vague series:
- Bunnahabhain 18 year 53.4% – Such a chameleon! Must take your time with this dram – absolutely fantastic with its quirky character
- Croftnegea (Loch Lomond) 13 year 53.9% – Delightful with such a contrast between the aromas and palate, quite dynamic on the nose and subtle yet lovely on the palate
- Glen Elgin 12 year 56.6% – Deceptive with a nose promising sweetness and light yet then a surprisingly peppery palate!
- Mannochmore 12 year 58.7% – A delightful summery dram.
- Mannochmore 13 year 59% – More than a summer dram, it has an intense palate to contrast with the intoxicating nose
- Orkney (Highland Park) 15 year 57.1% – Outstanding! A kaleidoscope of aromas, then a richly complex palate and stellar finish
- Orkney (Highland Park) 22 year 53.4% – Prompted quite different reactions in different contexts – from big and full to curiously shy, there is a lot going on with this one
- Tormore 28 year 42.4% – A summer dram by the seaside with rare yet rewarding mineral and nutty elements joining a fruit basket
And those we managed to sample from the earlier L’Ancien Régime series:
- Blair Athol 12 years 56.6% – Nurnberg lebkuchen of chocolate and gingerbread in a glass!
- Ruadh Maor (Glenturret) 8 year 62.5% – Seasoned meats and fried snacks…. a chameleon quality that evolved differently in each glass
- Mackmyra 12 years 50.2% – Fresh, clean, cherry wood and honey
- Miltonduff 9 year 58.3% – Creamy dessert with fruits, breakfast cereals… in short delicious!
- Miltonduff 11 years 62.0% – Great contrast between fruity nose and surprisingly rich palate
- Orkney (Highland Park) 9 year 63.1% – Copper, minerals, salted caramel, and smoke, all beautifully balanced
- Tomintoul 14 year 57.6% – Jammy cookies and cakes with sweet spices
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