...where distraction is the main attraction.

Friday, July 30, 2021

An Orkney Distillery 15 year old 2002 Archives

(Highland Park cluster homepage)  

It's Friday. We made it. Grab a drink! Unless you're on the can at work, because you know they're watching you.

Yes, I have also run out of Intro Energy, so I'll keep this brief-ish. This is the first refill hoggie Highland Park of this cluster, even though it's the fourteenth whisky. It was selected and bottled by the good Archives folks, whose success rate on this blog is outrageously high. The sample was sent to me by My Annoying Opinions, whose label work here is concerningly conservative.

Distillery: Highland Park
Ownership: The Edrington Group
Location: Orkney
Independent Bottler: Archives
Age: 15 years (6 May 2002 - 30 Oct 2017)
Maturation: refill hogshead
Outturn: 270 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 58.7%


The nose starts with dried pineapple and dried apricots in the foreground, dried sage and dried thyme in the back. It also has a creamy dessert side (or maybe vanilla meringue?), that's countered by a nice dose of Orkney peat. Once the whisky is reduced to 46%abv, the nose becomes farmier, with lots of hay and stones and dried flowers. Maybe some baked apple in the background.

The layered palate has lemon and toasted barley on top, peppery smoke in the middle, and something between wildflowers and grass — heather? — on the bottom. But it's not a light, brittle thing. It's pretty bold stuff. After about a half hour, it's all lemon candy and peppery smoke. It seems to get a little louder 46%abv, more lemon, more pepper, more bitterness. Less smoke, more ash.

That peppery smoke, heather and lemons make up most of the finish, though smoke stays the longest. At 46%abv, the finish is tangy, peppery, and lightly sweet.


This one hit the spot, as it seemed to mix the seasons (especially spring and autumn) with ease. Like last Friday's HP, it's a great pour for the end of a long week. Put your feet up; listen to the cicadas or freeway traffic or the crackle of electric wires or your neighbor yelling at his child or your HVAC unit struggling to kick on or the sound of another Covid Apocalypse coming; tip the glass rim to your lips and say a silent prayer to The Spirit of Fuck It All with your first sip. Have a great weekend!

Availability - Sold out
Pricing - ???
Rating - 89