...where distraction is the main attraction.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Highland Park 15 year old 1999 Signatory, cask 800198 (Chicago Cask)

We always have a good evening at our monthly Columbus Scotch Club gatherings. It's very casual, folks bring in fun bottles and only one person acts like snobby asshole about whisky (and he looks something like me).

At the end of May's event, Andrew S. told me he'd found a Signatory Highland Park while recently visiting Chicago. Though I no longer follow the vast majority of current releases, I do keep an ear out for non-"Viking" Highland Parks and Signatory things. But I'd never heard of this one. Apparently it's been sitting on Binny's's's's shelves for two and a half years. It was chosen by "Vintage Wines" and B's's site calls it a "Chicago Cask" (while listing the wrong age). What that means exactly, I don't know. But it's a full strength HP ex-bourbon barrel, so count me in for a taste. Thanks, Andrew, for the pour!

Distillery: Highland Park
Ownership: The Edrington Group
Region: Isle of Orkney
Independent Bottler: Signatory Vintage
Age: 15 years (October 15, 1999 - September 1, 2015)
Maturation: ex-bourbon barrel
Cask #: 800198
Bottle: 13 of 201
Alcohol by Volume: 57.6%
Chillfiltered? No
Caramel Colorant? No

The nose needs a moment before it opens up. Then it's apricots, yellow peaches and orange peel. It's lightly floral and sugary. Hints of grass, citronella candles and chalk. A little bit of corn syrup and vanilla from the barrel sneak out after 30 minutes. Peach candy and lychee candy on the palate. Lemon, honey and roses. Toasty oak, sweet tobacco and malt. The tingly finish has lemons, honey and cayenne pepper.

DILUTED TO ~46%abv, or 1.5tsp of water to 30mL whisky
The nose becomes slightly nuttier. The flowers and fruit are quieter. Some more oak slips in. Grassier and sharper. Smarties candies. The palate gets bitterer. More pepper. Granulated sugar rather than honey. Pine and grain. It finishes bitterer, as well. Tangy. Vanilla and malt.

A very pretty HP. Easy to sip. No peat, no smoke. Just fruit, flowers and fun. Keep it neat, you won't regret it. Adding water simultaneously silences and clutters this one up. I don't have much else to say other than, here's another great bourbon-cask Highland Park. Now how do we get a "Columbus Cask"?

Availability - Several left amongst the Binnies
Pricing - $129.99, such much?
Rating - 88