Highland Park

From the desk of

DAVID WALTERS

HEAD OF SPIRITS, FINE+RARE

 

I will spend a lifetime sourcing and tasting the world’s rarest spirits but expect nothing to top the experience provided by 1902 Highland Park.

 

Timing can be everything and a sequence of events has resulted in my most profound whisky tasting to date and likely my lifetime. Distilled at Highland Park distillery in 1902 and bottled at some time in the early 1950s, the fact this is a 50-year-old whisky is remarkable in itself, but the amazing 116 years since distillation makes this utterly unique. A real once in a lifetime moment.

 

I expect very few people alive today have had the unique pleasure of drinking this liquid history. One of the most respected whisky reviewers and samplers of rare drams, Serge Valentin, is another who’s had the extraordinary pleasure.

 

For Valentin it is an emotive experience, something that perhaps transcends, or sits apart from any scoring system that exists. To him, this is a whisky that emotionally deserves “certainly 99 or 100 points.” I couldn’t agree more wholeheartedly. Great spirits should always stir emotion, and this will live forever as a whisky experience of a lifetime.

 

It so nearly disappeared entirely in its original form as some years ago one of the most prestigious of bottlers wanted to buy all that remains and re-bottle and most likely position at a much, much higher price. However, when the liquid was analysed it fell just fractionally below the 40% legal minimum in order to re-bottle and the plan was thwarted. It means that these precious bottles (which have been tested for age by the Oxford University Radiocarbon Laboratory on behalf of the Scotch Whisky Research Institute) are still available in their intended form.

 

Undoubtedly the rarest and most unique whisky we’ll ever offer; full details are below and please don’t hesitate if you would like any secured.

 

 

1902 HIGHLAND PARK

(Bottled 1950s) - 39.8% ABV

 

Highland Park 1902 (Berry’s All Malt, bottled 1952 or 1953). The abv isn’t written on the label, but this one’s been analysed by the distillery itself, and it is 39.8%.

 

Nose: light and delicate, with lots of sea air and bandages, but almost no peat or smoke. Perhaps the peat has just vanished? Lots of leather, vanilla, grilled nuts, old walnuts… Tons of ‘secondary’ aromas. How complex! Some great passion fruit and kiwi too.

 

Mouth: paraffin, water, dust, old turpentine, cold tea and very old sweet wine… Don’t get me wrong, it’s great, much more than just a curiosity! Medium long finish.

 

A rating? Organoleptically: 86 points, but emotionally, certainly 99 or 100 points. The oldest malt I ever had. Champagne! (and thanks again, Luc).

 

1902 Highland Park, bottled 1950’s, 39.8% Scotland 1902 Highland Park, bottled 1950’s, 39.8% Scotland
£7,000.00 Duty Paid
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