Whisky Review: Signatory Vintage 30th Anniversary Highland Park 1991 Aged 27 Years

Style: Sherry, Malty and Complex

Nose:

Begins with a classic sherry dunnage signature – Heavy sherry carrying a dusky-musky tone. A match was struck somewhere afar, strawberry jam with light raspberry cream on top, dedemara sugar, salty toffee shrouded by a musky fragrance, while smoke rolling under. Floral notes diffuse in and elevate the weight of the sluggish red fruits, the sherry gradually finds its acidic edge, sour plums, mashed berries combine the spice to hit a high tone towards the end.

Palate:

The Sherry dunnage theme continues, the sherry is re-tuned and become more expressive on the palate. Crystallised plums and red fruits fizzled with peppermint soda, sooty peat, hmmm, there is a certain “dirtiness” to it, a little bit like Ledaig. The dusty-muskiness slowly developing into some form of umami here. Mushrooms and kelp aligning with strawberry pop tarts… Weird, isn’t it? But somehow it works. Almond-malt kicks in at the back, the floral tone comes in again to give another lifting touch to it.

Finish:

Strawberry eclairs showing more creaminess and red fruits more clarity. A touch of tobacco smoke lingering till the end, yum yum.

Thoughts:

Wow, what a bold, complex, heavily sherried Highland Park, less than three weeks and I have already drunk half of it… Well, it is that good, really. Under the gigantic sherry shell lies numerous dimensions – whether it be the malt, peat, distillate or the cask, all have formed distinctive characters which makes you feel there is so much happening at micro-level, but somehow, each of finds its place to accommodate one another in this expression and whip up such a spell-binding expression. Top, top dram. Very close to three stars.

☆☆[Highly Recommended]

[52% | Independent Bottling | Single Cask | 266 of 545 Bottles | Cask Number: 15086 | 1991 Distilled | 2018 Bottled | Matured in a Sherry Butt | **+]

-Esmond