Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Cadenhead (CA)
Bottling serie
Small Batch
Stated Age
25 years old
Ex-Sherry Butts
Number of bottles
55.7 % Vol.
700 ml 750 ml
Added on
26 jul 2013 3:34 pm
UncoloredNon-chillfilteredCask Strength

Average value

€ 1115.00

85 × in wishlist

226 × member ratings

239 × in collection

Whisky reviews for Highland Park 1988 CA

24 users have left 25 reviews for this whisky. Average rating is 90.56 points.

  1. PhamHa scored this whisky 92 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      91 91
    • Taste
      92 92
    • Finish
      92 92

  2. sphinx scored this whisky 92 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      92 92
    • Taste
      93 93
    • Finish
      92 92

  3. SAND scored this whisky 92 points Expert Senior

    NOSE: Dried fruits, dusty sherry cask notes, sweet barley juice, some honey. (92p)
    TASTE: Rich, concentrated, lots of old oak wood, slight sweetness, sweetened over brewed tea. (92p)
    FINISH: Liqorice, crushed pepper, lightly salted, slightly sweet. Long. (90p)
    OVERALL: Long ageing in a relatively active refill sherry cask? Very concentrated. Total score 92 (91) points.

  4. OJK scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    On the nose, gunpowder, marmalade, tobacco and cherry, some delicate smoke and sweet herbal liqueur (like someone has mixed amaretto and jagermeister). On the palate surprisingly soft and gentle, with an elegant buttery texture, delivering more forest fruits and prunes than on the nose, as well as classic sherry notes of mocha, leather and tobacco, and building towards a smokier finish where the herbal notes kick back in. A luxurious dram with an old fashioned elegance and presence.

  5. WhiskyJug scored this whisky 93 points Expert Senior

    Highland Park 25 yo 1988/2013 (55.7%, Cadenhead, small batch, sherry butts, 1086 bottles) Five stars

    From the much talked-about new 'black' series by Mark Watt. Elegantly old school, squat bottle, black label and even this legendary very 'Cadenhead' mention: "matured in oak" (they ran out of cedarwood, I imagine). Even the round logo and the gold hint at HP's old official labels, but that wasn't done of purpose of course as the whole series has it.

    Colour: coffee.

    Nose: a big, phat, slightly flinty and smoky sherry at first nosing, with quite a lot of coffee to match the robe. It's almost as old-school as the packaging! Goes on with roasted chestnuts, pecan pie straight from the oven and maybe touches of bacon and big black raisins, say Corinthians. A timeless nose so far.

    With water: classic figs, raisins, dates and other dried fruits. Perfect.

    Mouth (neat): heavy, big, not pungent though, quite smoky again and rather perfectly leathery as well as slightly sappy/resinous. Also cloves and cumin plus black pepper, chestnut honey (big time! it's a very powerful honey if you don't know it) and then the very classic fruitcake and raisins notes. Big stuff indeed.

    With water: perfect again, there's even a nice grapey touch (and prunes) that makes you think of some good old armagnac. A lovely honey too as well as quite some caramelised peanuts - that part never stops growing.

    Finish: very long and it would remain clean and tidy. The coffee returns in the aftertaste, and so does the armagnac.

    Comments: wham! This could have been bottled for Silvano Samaroli, Eduardo Giaccone or Nadi Fiori thirty years ago. Honest.

    SGP:563 - 92 points


  6. Dominique69 scored this whisky 92 points Photo Moderator

    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      92 92
    • Finish
      93 93

  7. JimmyLok scored this whisky 98 points Expert Junior

    a very nice sherry, rich and fruity. a superb whisky form highland park.

  8. penumbra scored this whisky 93 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      Rich and sweet heavy Shirley, according to the distance of the cup, you can feel the layers of honey, toffee and coffee. Under the sweetness, it is a thick plum fruit. It is a bit like a Chinese New Year. The whole steamed jujube, fresh fruit is not as rich as its flavor, and the fruit is not moist. Then the flavors of chocolate, creamy sherry, honey walnut, dried cherries, and roasted nuts are intertwined. The thick fructose is somewhat obscured by the woody tonality brought about by 25 years of age. It is accompanied by extremely slight smoke, varnish, shoe polish and leather. It is not annoying, but a good balance of the smell of the whole, so that it does not become a viscous syrup.
    • Taste
      Compared with the smell of smell, the taste is added with the strong smoke and black pepper, and it is no longer a sweet taste. Start with a lighter sweet ginger, honey and heather. After the sweetness, there is a peppery spicy sensation on the tip of the tongue; followed by sherry, leather, espresso, smoked tobacco and a lot of heavy black fruit. Dry (plum, cherry, grape), as the sweetness declines, the taste similar to the smell of the drink looks slightly bitter and dry (you can see the difference between the smell and the taste, such as from cream Shirley to snow Li, from coffee to espresso, from honey walnuts to roasted walnuts; the oily scent is slightly more pronounced, similar to the taste of roasted walnuts, hazelnuts and tofu.
    • Finish
      For a long time, with a lot of nuts, there are some Mandheling, dried figs and tobacco.

  9. aphex scored this whisky 92 points Expert Senior

    An excellent dark, heavy, rich and tasty sherry Highland Park. Not for the faint-hearted and better enjoyed with a few drops of water.
    • Nose
      Heavy sherry nose. Big on tobacco and old leather. Dried fruits (plums, figs, raisins and dates), nuts, roasted coffee beans, dark chocolate, a pinch of salt and a veil of smoke. Dark fruits (blackberries) in the background.
    • Taste
      Full body, oily, smoky and dry. Leather, spices and dark coffee are overwhelming the palate. Dried and dark fruits in the background. This is heavy and thick. Let's try some water.
      A few drops bring more smoke and leather on the nose. The palate is more balanced with a fruity sweetness and honey now mixed with the drier notes. Delicious.
    • Finish
      Long, spices from the oak, coffee and smoke. Lingering dark and red fruits sweetness.

  10. BSWproject27 scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    Color - Deep Amber
    Tasted on 10/19/2013
    • Nose
      90 90
      This one has a very distinct Sherry influence on the nose. Cutting through the Sherry, one picks up sea salt and campfire smoke.
    • Taste
      93 93
      Old, damp oak, thick Sherry and peppercorn spice followed by Apple pie, brown sugar, caramel, maple syrup and a puff of smoke - this really resonates with me not unlike the Aberlour A'bunadh. Add some water to dial in the boldness.
    • Finish
      90 90
      A nice balance of smoke, pepper and Sherry on the finish. This is a big bold HP. The Sherry is the main player in this superb small batch cask strength offering from our friends on Orkney.

  11. P.A.O.K.you_are scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      89 89
    • Finish
      89 89

  12. numen scored this whisky 93 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      Nuts, pounds of pecans, and varnished old leather straps fill out the
      first layer. Then tehre are a few notes of purple sherry - figs, dates,
      plums, a dash of salt, and familiar territory. Rather some of the
      Highland Park characteristics shining through: sweet heather mixed with
      some dense cherry liqueur and syrup, and, oh yes, coffee! A little
      digestif with a drop of sherry, and flakes of shaved, dried chocolate on
      the side. (with water) More clearly varnished and sweet. Purple and
      flowery candy shop. Almost cut jelly beans and cotton candy. A little
      coffee, though it's all far less distinct for any actual note.
    • Taste
      Immediately this is thickly honeyed and with a sticky oil quality.
      Smoked. Gently. Hooray for HP! Very much on leather and varnish, turning
      quickly to much bigger espresso. Drier here, and back to candied
      pralines and pecans (more the latter), with just a hint of chocolate
      covered figs, grapes, and prune (also all chocolate covered). (with
      water) Honey and heather! Light smoke and topped off with creamy sherry,
      toasted cherry, and more purple. Thinner, and it still all turns to
      coffee, varnish, and a dry edge to the fruit.
    • Finish
      Heavily and richly sherried, and the typical HP notes manage to show
      themselves. Actual off-sweet sherry with marginal fruit notes, leather,
      and coffee persist. Oak is just perfect, influencing and driving the
      flavors without being prominent.

  13. magic_slim scored this whisky 91 points Connoisseur

    Recommended - definitely one of the best Highland Parks that was recently bottled.
    • Nose
      Wow! Lovely fruity notes of plum in madeira chocolate at first nosing. Sweet cream sherry aroma, coffee, a whiff of smoke and a little bit of shoe polish in the background. After a while notes of figs are coming up. Superb.
    • Taste
      Powerful mostly on sherry aromas. It is a concentrated full bodied but dry sherry with hints of resin, bark and old wood. Notes of leather and chewing tobacco with smoke in the background. Fruity as well (raisins), especially when you keep it in your mouth for 10 seconds or so.  
    • Finish
      Very long, dominated by coffee and tobacco aromas. 

  14. Toffie76 scored this whisky 93 points Expert Senior

    I mentioned the fact that it is woody? Magnificent
    • Nose
      Charge! Super sherry, dry Woody, softwood, almonds, grapes, dried fruits, walnut oil, a touch of glue glue. It's a whisky that needs a lot of opening time. We find the notes of cocoa, leather, black tea too infused. Figs, dates. Spices with a little white pepper
    • Taste
      Explosive, monstrously dry, woody and complex. A beautiful woody bitterness accompanies all the development. We find all the elements spotted on the nose, and that's saying something. All well arranged. It's dense, covering
    • Finish
      Endless, in successive waves. The woody taste and its bitterness persists for very long minutes.

  15. Rossi99 scored this whisky 88 points Member Senior

    Honey, gunpowder, and a bit sulfur... It's a heavy sherry one..
    I enjoy the honey notes but other than that is just way too heavy for me.

    Something good in the palate is mouth coating silky and balanced sweetness,
    but just don't like the sulfur in the aftertaste.

  16. Dede scored this whisky 92 points Expert Senior

    A very beautiful cask sherry, very powerful and fit inside. It is still a little "harsh", perhaps lacking the finesse and elegance characterizing the old speysiders aged sherry cask, but I'm willing to bet that a few years of bottle will bring him this extra dimension.
    • Nose
      A superb old dry sherry, full of tobacco, leather, meat broth, espresso ristretto, raisins, but not to excess as in some sherry casks, charcoal smoke, grilled hazelnut. Something of an old plum too, as well as a hint of sulfur. Complex, and above all very rich, full.
    • Taste
      The very fat texture pleasantly carpets the palate. The power is ideal, supporting the aromas without erasing them. Here we have a malt with a very beautiful tannic bitterness, perfectly controlled and without any astringency. Lots of tight coffee, raisins, a little more sulfur than nose (rubber), and still those notes of old plum and coal smoke. Excellent.
    • Finish
      Long, sulfur (rubber still), subtly smoked and marked by raisins and bitterness of chestnut honey.

  17. art-bett scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    COLOR: is Cola coming very close .....

    NOSE: old brandy beans, slightly pungent, Mon Cheri, chestnut lacquer, leather fat, sherry.

    TASTE: Sweet wood, memory of Campino fruit candies (the very dark ones), dry woody sherry, brandy beans
    again through, slight saltiness.

    Departure: medium long with beautiful sherry sweetness and hint of OBF.

    CONCLUSION: Beautiful sherry board, which could be estimated at 35 or 40 years.
    Had never typed on a HP.


  18. checkpointuk scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    http://www.weinkenner.de/2014/limitierte-highland-park-loki-und-cadenheads-25-jaehrige-small-batch-abfuellung-31629/ Color: Madeira / Oloroso Sherry
    Nose: Sweet, rich sherry, dark, fruity berries, lots of oak, balsamic, smoked ham, grape nut chocolate, floor wax, leather and tart garden herbs.
    Taste: Pleasantly spicy and powerful start! Still slightly fruity with lots of sweet honey and heather. Always salty and tart with aromas of juniper berries, allspice (clove pepper), caramelized sugar and roasted nuts. More and more bitter, resinous wood with underlaid sweetness.
    Finish: Long - sweet - sweet with a lot of resin and wood, which ends very dry. After the decay of the woody tannins finally settle a few more chocolate flavors.
    Comment: Mighty whisky, but with a lot of resin and dry wood!
    86 points (nose: 90 / taste: 86 / finish: 83)

  19. peathead scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    The sherry is abundant. A little too much for my taste. The big downside is that it becomes very  dry after a while.  It kills the sweet, luscious nose.

  20. art-bett scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    Malt Maniacs Awards 2013

    Silver Medal

  21. KayMeertens scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    Heavy sherry. Not the big sweet kind of sherry, but rather clean and dry initially. The nose even contains a slightly chemical whiff like motor oil or hairspray at first. Needs some time and perhaps a few drops of water before opening up with plums, dark cherries, raisins, pepper, coffee, hazelnuts and dark chocolate. It improves by the minute,  but it never loses its dryness.

  22. pilgrim77 scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    Rich sherry on the nose when neat, with raisins to the fore. A few drops of water opened things up beautifully, releasing lots of other fruity aromas (dates, dried apple rings, ripe plums) alongside hazelnuts and roast chesnuts, a whiff of menthol and some very faint smoke. Beautifully balanced, and it only got better with time in the glass. Much more smoky on the palate, with some nicely integrated peppery notes and even a hint of chilli. Not as rich as the nose might suggest though. Quite sweet towards the end, with a long and dry (but not overdry) finish. A real treat, and great value for money. 
    • Nose
      93 93
    • Taste
      89 89
    • Finish
      91 91

  23. markjedi1 scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    The nose alone I would rate 90 or even 91, but on the
    palate it drops a few points in my book.
    • Nose
      Soft but great sherry nose with loads of stewed wild
      cherries and blackberries. Dades and figs join in, as does some balsamico â€
    • Taste
      It all returns on the palate, but with a salty edge.
      Much more smoke now. This is big and complex, to be sure. Spicy too. Black
      pepper, cloves and again some balsamico. But it does turn a bit dry, as if I am
      licking leather. The oak roars.
    • Finish
      The nuts and espresso return in the long, again
      fruity, finish.

  24. yapi scored this whisky 89 points Expert Junior

    Too dry on the palate for me to score it a 90. 

  25. Bishlouk scored this whisky 94 points Connoisseur

    A slap ! Complex, gourmet, delicious. I wanted time to stop. It's good !
    • Nose
      A huge sherry, but with cold as well as ash. A lot of red fruits (cherries) cooked and candied. Other things happen very quickly: a slight smell of female feet in leather summer sandals (yes, that's what it reminded me of, but it's erotic after all, so nice!), a little hay, petrified wood for thousands of years, and red berries in abundance. After about fifteen minutes a quiet stability on the red fruits settles.
    • Taste
      First it's calm thinking a few seconds, then it gets stronger. A symphony! The attack of the Black Star! It goes in all directions. Red fruits, wood, a light (and distant) sea breeze, hazelnut.
    • Finish
      Endless (an hour after the end of the dram I still had hints coming back to cuckoo in my mouth). A pepper mill blow on the tongue, dry wood bark, the glueing palate.


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