Orkney, Unnamed Orkney, Secret Orkney, all of them refer to Highland Park of course. The weirdest – in a good way – I had seen so far was High Parkland from Dramfool, with a Viking helmet on the label. But this new release by The Whisky Jury trumps them all: Eye Land Pork. It’s a refill hogshead that was put down in 1998. It yielded almost 200 bottles.
A salty breeze, soft vanille, sweet malt, gooseberries and mirabelles. Fruity and maritime, like it should be. Some soft smoke and even something that reminds me of Zwitsal talcum powder. Hint of banana, pear and dried flowers. Not a morsel of pork though (note to self: not even close to funny, dude).
It explodes on the palate. Immediately very peaty (in it’s genre), nicely sweet on flowery honey and yellow fruit, but also quite some vanilla. Brackish water. Perfectly balanced and very spirit-driven. Nice peppery note. Quite powerful despite the rather modest ABV.
The finish goes up and down like a yoyo between sweet and salt, while the smoke slowly clears. The cask has the final say with a note of tannins, cardamom and liquorice.
Impressively good, spirit-driven Highland Park. Kudos, Joeri! That’s 180 EUR well spent.