Islands – 58.1%ABV – cask strength – 700ml bottle – £65
Ah, the Hjärta – a 12yr Cask Strength Highland Park. Available only through the distillery’s website, the distillery & in nordic countries. Which of coarse leaves the rest of the world out (unless you have sources…).
I’ve been lusting after this for some time and now it is in my possession (Mmmmwwwaaa-ha-ha-ha-ha!).
Let’s cut to the chase and go to my thoughts on it, shall we? Yes, we shall:
Color — Old pirates gold
Initial whiff — For 58.1%abv, nowhere near as prickly as I had expected. I could jam my nose in there ’til my “Hjärtas” content (or I run out of oxygen). Licorice, fried pineapple slices, heather, smoke and moldy celery. A bit salty and a wee more grassy
On the mouth — A bit more hot now, spicey, some sherry notes, buttered toast with honey & jam (raspberry), pineapple again and wisps of smoke, peat & figgy stuffs – all in all, a very luscious dram (reminds me of the succulency of the 18yr)
Finish — Long and a bit burny (in a good way), the sherry comes back up, smoke.
In sum — Rumor has it that a 12yr CS may be on the way as a standard expression for Highland Park. If the Hjarta is any indication as to what we can expect – I’ll be waiting with baited breath!!
The 18yr is still king in my book but this is uber nice! Thanks to the fine gent who helped me get a bottle!!