The fun part about being a Whisky Nerd Blogger Person is that sometimes you end up on a mailing list for whisky related information. Being on such a mailing list has some fun consequences. One of those fun consequences is getting a 15 minute Highland Park Sand Glass to show off!


I have been meditating more and more this last year and I realised that looking at a Sand Glass is pretty relaxing. Throw in a crackling fire and there you go! My own personal Whisky Related Meditation Video!

Now I have not been able to taste the Highland Park “The Light” yet, but I hope I will have the opportunity.

Highland Park ‘The Light’ completes the series of two expressions and complements Highland Park ‘The Dark’.  Both are special editions of 28,000 bottles. The ABV of‘THE LIGHT’ is 52.9%. The Age “The Light” is 17 yo.

You just have to give Highland Park credit for the presentation of this whisky. It would make a wonderful display in any collection.

The pricing of this dram, as found on the internet April 28th 2018 is around € 200,-.

Image by ©Owen Edelsten,, used with permission

The Highland Park tasting notes for this dram are:


Natural Cask Driven Colour (no additives): Light golden (colour tint 7.2)

Flavours: Caramelised pear | Nutmeg | Vanilla | Cedar wood| Oak| Light peat smoke” 

~ Highland Park Press release, 2018

CC, iLaddie, Instagram

If and when I get the opportunity to have a taste I will add my personal notes to this blog.

I received a sample bottle and was able to smell and taste “The Light”. Here are my first notes, according to the RSWFW.


Sub Descriptors

Highland Park

The Light


1. Burnt Soot



1. Burnt Ash



2. Smokey Wood Smoke



1. Cereal Leathery



1. Fresh Green Banana



2. Dried Straw



2. Dried Mint



2. Dried Herbal



4. Citrus Zest



7. Spicy Nutmeg



2. Buttery Creamy



2. Coating

Oily/creamy feeling



First taste was just a wee wee taste. Let’s have a dram.

Second nosing gave a slight alcohol burn on the nose. Loads of vanilla. Pear, strawberry, oak. Hand rubbing reveals light barley cereal notes. Something oily, creamy, buttery.

palette: something odd that went from bitter to vegetative, then sweet. After a good second chewing my mouth gets a tad painful from the spicy alcohol. Let’s add water.


With water, the nose burn goes away. Vanillas, honey, pear, very slight hint of smoke.

With water, the palette keeps the odd bitterness. Something spicy but can’t put my finger on it which spice. Tad drying to the mouth. This is going to sound odd, but can i say this has hints of a dry white wine?

My thoughts are that this, again, is something that you would not expect from Highland Park. Am I unconsciously expecting more hints of first fill casks that are seasoned with sherry? Come to think of it, wasn’t this my reaction to “full volume” too? If highland park is considering moving away or expanding their flavour profile to these kinds of drams maybe the expectations of whisky drinkers need to move along with that. I suspect we need some help there people of Highland Park. At least I need it. But how can one tell if this, the non sherry HP profile, is the case when making buying decisions? That’s what tasting notes are for I suspect.

To sum up.

Nose, alcohol burn, with vanilla and fruit notes. Some drops of water opens it up and let’s it smell honey, pear, some spice influence,  no “nuts”, no “dried fruits”, no “sherry”, hints of herbal and vegetative.

Palette, some burning of the cheeks and lips, but not drying in a peaty Octomore kind of way, more a dry white wine kind of way? Does that make sense at all? Not to me actually. But my mind is making this association with a dry white wine. I am having a real hard time placing this palette. That doesn’t make it bad, it makes me puzzled, but that can be refreshing! It is not matching my preferences when it comes to flavour profiles.

At the price level of almost €200,- it is out of my reach in the first place, but secondly it does not match my preference for a peaty first or virgin American oak cask. Weirdly enough this dram may score rather high in the annual global intergalactic iLaddie whisky nerd awards because it’s sparking all kinds of questions.

questions like:

  • Where does the flavour come from when using a second fill American Oak cask?
  • I know that second fill casks give of some vanillas but this much? How did that happen?
  • Is the use of non-sherry-seasoned cask the direction Highland Park is going in? Can we expect more? Does that match expectations?
  • Is €200,- for a 17 yo second fill American oak cask matured dram worth it? This is not a single cask expression. The cask probably earned itself back the first time Highland Park filled it. Are we paying for the container and the marketing? I know the answer to that question because a well marketed luxury item always gets sold for more than production costs alone would warrant. I don’t have the money to spend on buying a showcase. So I won’t.

A big thank you to the kind people of Edrington! Cheers!

What do others think of this dram?

Gentleman Grimm gives his insight in this video and I think he is formulating what many people are starting to think about Highland Park.

Maltman Mike and Friend’s

Scotch 4 Dummies

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