What did I learn from the Highland Park Magnus? First, how did I get a sample? Some time back I asked Highland Park if I could use images on my website. I asked because Hans Offringa pointed out that bloggers should mind the rights of the people that own them. So I asked and I could use images send to me, so this explains the feature image that was send to me by Highland Park. Thanks!

I got a wee package in the mail last week and I found a sample bottle of Highland Park Magnus in it.

I added some to the glass and I went on an exploration of the notes. On my Instagram I added the notes.

“Tonight’s dram is something of a surprise to me. I am “used” to big bold Islay drams. Tonight I taste an elegant dram! A dram with Floral, honey, herbal, fruity notes. Some vanilla and a tad of smoke. All balanced. Would I call it light? No, I would not. The word is elegant. Not a sherry port bomb or any kind of bomb but an elegant dram to be enjoyed on a restful night. You can enjoy the nose, explore it without the need to add water. Elegant is the word.” ~ iLaddie, 2017, Instagram

Ok, the notes are not very particular. Floral is about as useful as …. but what the point of my notes is the order in which I made them. The first thing that I noted, on the nose, was the Floral Honey note. Then fruity. Then Vanilla and then a light Smoke. I had not seen the notes provided in the Highland Park information yet. So when I was preparing the photo for my blog I noticed the PDF information Highland Park had send.

The information provided by Highland Park mentions this:


• MAGNUS is exclusively available in the USA and Canada from August 2017.

• This new single malt Scotch whisky is bold, smoky and undeniably Orcadian (the name given to people from Orkney) – created by Gordon Motion, Highland Park Master Whisky Maker.

• It balances Highland Park’s characteristic aromatic smokiness with a sweeter and more profound vanilla flavour profile which comes from being matured in a high proportion of sherry seasoned American oak casks.


Colour: Naturally light golden, clear and bright (average colour tint 11.0

Nose: Lemon, vanilla sponge cake, caramelised pineapple, light smoke and violets

Palate: Sweet vanilla, aromatic peat smoke, floral

Finish: Light citrus, vanilla, aromatic peat smoke”

~ Highland Park, 2017, HP_17_Magnus_sales_sheet_0817.pdf

I was glad that my nose seems to have picked up notes that the Highland Park people also picked up. Not really important that I get the same notes, but it is nice. What I noticed when reading back my Instagram notes is that I say

“Not a sherry port bomb or any kind of bomb” ~ iLaddie, 2017, Instagram

First thing I learned:

What normally happens when I read Sherry Seasoned casks is an expectation of dried fruit notes, nutty notes, spicy notes. These notes did not jump out at me in this glass. This would mean that I learned that not all Sherry Seasoned whisky result in the same “typical” notes. Some Sherry Seasoned casks can result in floral notes one would expect from first or second fill ex bourbon casks.

Second thing I learned:

The information mentions an “Average colour tint 11.0”.

This means that there is a colour scale, based on numbers and this dram has a colour of “Average 11.0” as a tint. It also means that this dram will be brought out in batches since the colour is and “Average”, or that the colour was determined using multiple samples and the average was “11.0” . Also notice the “.0” as significant figures.

I have tried to find the scale used, but I need some help there! Anyone?? The Highland 12 has a tint of “12.4” I found. I do find a beer colour scale that has 11 in it, but is this used by Highland Park? Anyone? Will investigate!

Added note 7th of June 2018: See more on the colour of whisky here

Third thing I learned:

This is a 40% ABv dram that I enjoyed drinking on a Saturday night while watching “Breaking Bad” on NetFlix. I have drunk so many cask strength drams this past year that I forgot that I can enjoy a 40% ABv also! Snob me? Yup! lol

Thank you Highland Park for the lessons!

ps: This is the official YouTube for this drams tasting notes. Copyrights by Highland Park