A Highland Park Experiment is marrying in my glass.
I was invited to another Highland Park tasting. The 12, 18, 25, 30. Amazing how the very good 18 can seem immature and simple compared to the 25 and 30.
I had a similar tasting experience with the 21, which seemed the height of sophistication and complexity before the 30 came on the scene.
And here sits a glass containing equal parts of the 30, 25, 18 and 12. But I will let it sit for two days before I venture a taste.
Originally, this evening was about tasting the 25 year old Highland Park. But it expanded into a general tasting of Highland Park’s core range.
The absence of the 15 year old and 21 year old was actually beneficial. Both are enjoyable but are a bit expressive on the American oak side of things and the lighter, non-first-fill sherry casks. They seem more directly related than other expressions.
This allowed the American oak to be more noticeable in the older expressions than usually detected. An educational evening, to say the least.
It is always a different experience, tasting multiple examples from the same distillery, compared to spending an evening with just one expression. But it is also eye-opening, how something one knows well can take on a very different light when it is tasted among many relatives.
The Highland Park experiment has lead to a notably different Highland Park experience.
And the chemistry going on in the last glass of the night may prove a lesson unto itself, when we taste it on Sunday night.