The front of the Highland Park box bears a straightforward quote from Spirit Journal: “The Best Spirit in the World.” Pretty cheeky stuff, but there’s no getting around the fact that this Orkney tipple aged in Spanish sherry oak casks is a wondrously subtle and enjoyable Scotch. The toffee sweetness is undeniable, as is the long, rolling, smoky finish that can be extended with just a touch of water. A nutty odor, and disarmingly smooth and balanced overall flavor make this a uniquely enjoyable Island/Highland style Scotch—the experience is tamed and balanced, but not neutered or watered down. A beverage this good doesn’t come cheaply, but that’s just another reason to savor the stuff.
Highland Park 18-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch
Whisky, $99.99 for a 750 mL bottle.