...and both are truly excellent drams from a time when all things were still fine on Orkney (meaning neither rushed nor designed nor greedy). Two perfect old style Traditional Scotch malts that clearly demonstrate the adorable distillate-profile of Highland Park (which in most modern releases is buried under heavy "designed" flavours like extreme woods or sulphured sherry). Absolutely recommended to all lovers of the traditional distillate-driven style of Scotch whisky...
The colour of both drams is identical at deep gold. The nose of the 2005 offers a very complex and delicate profile of toffee, chocolatey, fruity, leathery, smokey and some umami aromas without any off-note or imbalance. Very interesting stuff to sniff! The 2007 is a little less complex and shows a delicious honey and autumn floral profile with significantly more fruits (fresh, exotic and dried) than the 2005 but less sherry-induced aromas. This is very tasty and I could sniff such a profile for hours. The 2005 is more interesting to explore while the 2007 is (even) more enjoyable - so I go for a draw on this dimension.
The 2005's taste is truly multi-layered with more sweet fruits, honeys, chocolates, coffee, nuts, and and and. Simply adorable and great to chew, no flaw or imbalance here either. The taste of the 2007 shows again loads of different fruits of all kind beside honeys, chocolates, liquorice and a fair amount of spices (peppers, nutmeg, ginger and hints of cinnamon). Again no flaw or imbalance. Water releases some more aromas in both drams and turns their taste smoother and hence even more quaffable. I like them both neat and a little reduced. In the end I prefer the 2005 (a little) over the 2007 because it owns more layers and depth but this might be just my personal preference (others might see this the other way around).
The mouthfeel of the 2005 is warming and very creamy-coating with no distracting moments whatsoever. Its finish is long and more maritime with minor salty notes. No bitter or drying moments, again all flawless. The 2007 arrives a little punchier with some peppery moments on the palate and is nicely coating too. Its finish is even longer than the 2005's and adds some bitter-drying notes of tea and tobacco. Again I prefer the 2005 over the 2007 because of its greater complexity and more enjoyable mouthfeel. But hey, on that level it is all about personal preferences...