I've decided to begin posting about new spirit offerings here on Alcademics. The plan is to say what's coming on to the market and why it's new and interesting. If I don't find it interesting (or don't believe the marketing), I won't post about it.
Highland Park 40 year old single malt whisky is a permanent, though allocated release. I believe there are 170 bottles for the US this year. That means it's not a one-off bottling or single-barrel product that's here and gone. If you've got the $2,000 to buy a bottle, you can drink it and get another one next year.
The whisky is aged in refill sherry casks, about half American and half Spanish oak. The casks were first used to age sherry, then scotch at least once before being used for this bottling. This is to minimize the wood impact on the flavor of the whisky since it was in the barrel for so long.
I went to a tasting event so I was actually able to try this one (I know, I'm spoiled.). My tasting notes (usually pretty crazy, so feel free to ignore them) are: more peat smoke on the nose than the rest of the Highland Park range, though the smokiness isn't forceful on the palate. Instead there is a light sherry- nougat flavor I likened to the strawberry Charleston Chew candy bar I remember from like 30 years ago, if you replaced the strawberry with sherry. Still, it remains distinctly Highland Park, amplifying several flavor aspects of the line. It finished really dry and lingers forever, with dry sharp spices like sandalwood staying on the tongue. The whisky also changed significantly in the glass after pouring, making this an almost-too easily drinkable whisky you could spend hours with for each glass. And given the price per hour, you'd probably want to.