46.8% Alcohol/ 94 Proof
As the weather cools, we tend to drink more scotch than bourbon. While good single malt scotch can quickly get more expensive than good bourbons, this can be a dangerous season. We picked up this bottle when it was on sale at our local liquor store a while back for a bit over $50. Named after the supposedly dark origins of Highland Park distillery due to their founder’s work as a smuggler. It’s a sherried release with a combination of 80% first fill sherry casks (of which 60% is European oak and 20% American) and 20% refill sherry.
Our first thoughts were that it wasn’t as dark as we’d expected due the name and opaque black bottle, but it still came off as a deep amber thanks the to the time in sherry casks.
Slightly peaty, with a little smoke, a lot of wood, and some alcohol heat. Might scare some who fear good peaty, smoky malts but not that much.
It presented as sweet up front with a honeyed lingering heat. The mystic moors snuck up on the backend with a well rounded musky funk, some straw, and something else that was mysteriously elusive—almost like the essence of artichokes. A splash of water released more of that musky leather and mellowed the heat, putting more honey into the finish. Slowly some dark cherry flavors emerged along with some more exotic stone fruits.
Conclusion, we might buy it again on sale.