This Scott’s Selection Highland Park is not from one of the four Scott’s bottles I recently split with a number of friends. This is from a sample swap from a while ago. I’m not sure why I’ve been sitting on this for so long but now’s as good a time as any to get into it.
Highland Park 1975-2001 (50%; Scott’s Selection; from a sample received in a swap)
Nose: Acetone at first and then get a little bourbonny with notes of rye and pine. Some slightly darker sweet notes behind all that and it gets a little malty too. With time there’s a little honey and a tiny bit of smoke. And then some fruit begins to emerge: apricot jam, maybe a little hint of over-ripe peach and, so help me, Jeebus, some caramelized plantain/banana too. Also, some toasted wood. With a drop of water the fruit gets a little thicker but the wood also seems to perk up. Does this bode ill for the palate?
Palate: Quite wood-driven but not in a bad way. Polished and toasted wood lead, with no tannic bite. Then some honey and an indistinct acid-sweet fruitiness. On the second sip the wood is more assertive; still not tannic but increasingly spicy (in the cinnnamon/clove sense). Maybe water will draw out some of the fruit that was on the nose? Yes, water does bring out more fruit and it’s mostly lemon which manages to keep the spicy wood at bay.
Finish: Medium. Mostly the toasted wood, which gets a touch bitter at the very end. And just as on the palate, the wood gets more assertive with every sip. Water extends the finish a little and pushes the bitter wood back.
Comments: Didn’t start out terribly promising but patience paid off. There’s none of the rich sherry here of the official 25 yo but a very nice fruitiness on the nose that doesn’t usually get featured prominently in OB Highland Parks. The palate is not quite at the level of the nose, with the wood a little too talkative.
Rating: 86 points.
Thanks to bpbleus for the sample!