Highland Park Trillium
Aged in refill Sherry butt
Highland Park, born 1798 from the imagination of Magnus Eunson : butcher and church officer…he was also a smuggler and an illicit distiller by night. He chose a place up from Kirkwall (Orkney’s largest city) to see the authorities coming, a Park High from town…thus the name Highland Park (absolutely no reference to the Scottish Highlands or the geographical position of Orkney compared to Mainland).As for process goes, HP uses a small part of peated barley, about 20%, with their own peat. This one is very different than what can be found in the Highlands or on Islay. On Orkney, there is no tall vegetation, no trees, no shrubs. So the peat there is just decomposed grass, or heather, giving the whisky a much “smoother” peat side than other peated whisky. HP also uses, mainly, some of the highest quality Sherry casks. Just like for Macallan, Edrington possesses its own Sherry factory, helping to guarantee an enough arrival of Sherry casks. The use of Orkney’s peat and high quality Sherry casks is what makes HP such a unique Scotch.As of late, Highland Park has been embracing its Vikings roots for every new expressions, except its core line and single casks. Some fans and industry members have criticized this portion of marketing. But I have to say, after spending 2 weeks on Orkney, it’s not HP embracing it : it’s the whole island. People have no idea how much Viking there is on the island : the streets, the boats names, the shops, etc. As someone there told me, Orkney has been part of the Danemark Kingdom for more than 6 centuries, and part of Scotland for less than 6. Do the math.
As for this particular release, it is part of the Single Cask release, targeting specific markets. Trillium (Ontario National flower emblem) is Canada’s first SC make specifically for LCBO.
Nose : big sherry nose, like a fruit cake. Some notes of blueberries, touch of lemon. Some deep vanilla and honey. It is really a well balanced nosing. The oak comes at the end with a slight touch of spices, really smooth. Only with the nosing I am looking to find some big dried fruits on the mouth accompanied with a creamy liquid that will stay long. I’ll also say that it smells like a fresh lemon pie.
Palate : really smooth with a rich balanced mouth. Immediately the Sherry hits you in a good way. Then comes the wood, lemon and fruit cake. It is smooth, with full citrus, orange, vanilla, and the spices are more pronounced. A touch of grapes, ginger. For 61,4% of alcohol I’ll say that it is really surprising how easy it is. Instead of having a big punch of alcohol in the mouth, you have a big influence of fruits. The liquid is really heavy and deep.
Finish : a nice long finish, very complex. The Sherry follows you until the end. The spices and the blueberries in this heavily liquid don’t want to leave. I love it.
Comments : sipping a glass of scotch on the top of Mont-Royal, Montreal’s mountain, with a view over the city gives me passion and inspiration. And this is a Highland Park I love a little bit, a lot, passionately, to the point of crazyness !