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Monday, 14 March 2011

A little Vintage Therapy

Hot on the heels of their excellent Leif Eriksson bottling, Highland Park bring you the latest in their travel retail portfolio, this time harking back to the late 1970's.

They've bottled a 1978 vintage, which purportedly takes its design inspiration from 5 unusual Norse carvings unearthed in Norway in 1904. The most striking of these, a snarling beast will be featured on the box for the 1978 release.

Highland Park's press release makes reference to the 'fearsome beast, with great bared teeth, a square snout and big eyes.' Sounds suspiciously like one of Joel's previous female acquaintances, but that's another story...

Highland Park - 1978 - Travel retail vintage bottling - 47.8%

Nose: Lovely soft waxy notes, combine with a hint of fragrant summer fruit, deft notes of cedarwood, dried coconut, a light oaky dryness and some classic Highland Park honey. We've often commented just how much of a rich aromatic seam runs through all the HP bottlings and this one is no exception.

Palate: Rich and oily, the first thing that hits is menthol throat lozenges, further hints of wax then heather honey, some dried ginger and a touch of smoky earthiness. We'd hasten to say the peating level was a little higher on this batch than other HPs but here it's a restrained, soft smoke taste.

Finish: Superbly detailed and resonant, the finish fades gently, with spicy ginger and white pepper tingling away on the back palate.

Overall: These travel retail bottlings really do set hugely high standards for their rivals and, without doubt, this one is up there yet again with the best of them. We'd still maintain that the 1990 vintage is the undisputed king of their releases, but like the recent Leif Eriksson, the cask selection here is impeccable and yet another monster HP is unleashed on the unsuspecting public...