# 479 • Berry Bros. & Rudd Orkney Islands 1999 KWM Cask

Berry Bros. & Rudd Orkney Islands 1999

53.5% alc./vol.
Highland Park Distillery, Kirkwall, Orkney, Scotland

Another solid traffic jam that we had when we visited Québec Whisky by Andrew Ferguson, Head Guru of Calgary's Kensington Wine Market, here is a 1999 “Orkney Islands”, distributed by Berry Bros. & Rudd for the KWM.

Orkney Islands isn't a distillery per se, but it's a nice, disguised way to iron some stock without naming it. We are entitled to think that this was perhaps part of the deal between the distillery and Berry Bros. & Rudd. There are (to date) only two distilleries in Orkney, Scapa and Highland Park. If we play it Sherlock and trust our noses, this is Highland Park in good standing.

As the Canadian athlete, humanitarian and activist said so well Terrance Stanley Fox, says Terry Fox (1958-1981):

Champagne is a wine used to baptize vessels to give them a lot of moss.

Nose:
Cream, grass and malt. Citrus, light heather and meringue. Almonds, vanilla and sugar butter. Alcohol is incredibly devious.

Taste:
Honey and vanilla, grass and heather, powdered sugar. Extremely floral. We finish with the spices of the cask strength, which delivers us a plank of oak barely wet with sherry.

Finish:
Mellow, woody and spicy. The rest of the flavors are driven by the degree of alcohol that is less aggressive than one might think.

Balance:
An excellent Cask Strength that was again brilliantly selected by the experts at Kensington Wine Market.

Note: ★★★★★

#442 • Highland Park Hjärta 12 years old

58.1% alc./vol.
Highland Park Distillery, Kirkwall, Orkney, Scotland

Thanks to André for making me try this rather rare cask strength of the mythical Highland Park, the Hjärta.

Limited edition of 3924 bottles, bottled at the original undiluted rate and available only at the distillery shop. When we talk about scarcity, we do not do much better.

As the Russian and then Soviet writer and doctor said so well Mikhail Afanasyevich Bulgakov (1891-1940) said so well:

It is rare that we feel happy. It's even rarer that we know we are happy.

Orange of an undiluted HP.

Nose:
Dried barley, heather and honey in power. Jerky and oak board. Herb and smoked.

Taste:
Oily, marked by a spicy honeycomb, oak filled with full-bodied red wine.

Finish:
Rather short for its alcohol content, notes of dark chocolate, spices, smoke and bacon.

Balance:
Solid, like almost all HP. Only downside, and do not pit me rocks, Highland Park is a malt that does not need to be bottled cask strength to shine.

Note: ★★★★★