Highland Park 8 year old MacPhail’s Collection

Islands – 43%ABV – 750ml bottle – $35 | £23 | €26

So, I’ll be quite honest when I say the only reason I purchased this is because it said “Highland Park” and it was a $35 dollar bottle.  You may have seen in a previous post that the best dram for me in 2009 was the Highland Park 18yr.  I am a devotee of Highland Park and, for me, everytime I have a sip of their nectar I have a Shehecheyanu moment.  Highland Park whiskies are that special for me.

On top of that, John Hansell of Malt Advocate gave this particular expression a nice little review.  I’ll pay $35 for an 83pt whisky (especially if it’s Highland Park)!! You can check out John Hansell’s review here.

Without any further ado, here are my notes on this fine little dram:

Initial Whiff Very delicate and quite briny, almost like a slightly intense Scapa 16yr (that review to follow in the coming weeks), oaky, hint of fried pineapple, honeycomb breakfast cereal (does that exist outside of the US??)

Palate Increasingly fruity, tropical, syrupy mouth feel (can this really only be a $35 bottle??), ever slight earthiness (can’t place it, but the feel the flavor gives me is that of things growing in the springtime – it must be the youthfulness of the spirit), sweet onion, this is a punchy little dram.

FinishMedium length, just as biting as you’d expect from 43% (though I would have loved to have tried this at 46%), after a minute or two I notice a stronger smokiness in my mouth I did not detect earlier.

In sum This is not a very “Highland Park” Highland Park.  It’s quite different from the 12yr, 15yr or 18yr.  And while it’s not the most spectacular dram I’ve ever had, I can see myself reaching for this in an instant.   This is a really nice every day dram though, no doubt about it.  Quite well done and oh so worth the price spent (if not more – though don’t tell the kind folks at MacPhail’s, it’ll be our secret.  Just you and me. Ssshhhhh!!)

Continuation of the “In sum” portion of this post — So, I pored myself a nice healthy portion (my guess is about 6.5cl) and I tend to only use the first 2cl of a dram for review.  I’m about 4cl in and, wow, just a really nice dram.  A nice little cracker and so very perfect for the springtime or a cooler summer day.  I’ll take this in place of a cold beer any day – extremely refreshing!  Heck, I’d take this over water (this is the “Water of Life” after all, right??)

2 thoughts on “Highland Park 8 year old MacPhail’s Collection”

  1. mmmmmmm this stuff is nice.
    i could see why you would prefer this over water. dman it goes so fast.

  2. I don’t know when you wrote your review. My tastes seem quite similar to yours—both for the various “real” Highland Park”s and for this delightful bargain. I just bought three bottles for $29 apiece in a Boston, MA, area store. That might actually make it cheaper than water…..

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