The Dragon 1973 (56.4%, Robertson, +/-1990) Five stars With Olivier. There are several versions of this famous undisclosed Highland Park, esp. two lovely 1973s (unless that would be three?) It’s the first time we’re having this one, but one at 56.6% was superb (WF 93).
Colour: rich amber (Angus, who’s passing by, says ‘rusted fuselage’). Nose: starts right on ripe tropical fruits with a little honeydew and ‘ideas’ of fennel, as well as quite some cut hay, encaustic, beeswax… Slightly prickly, with also a little tar, tarry/smoky ropes, touches of peat, cold tobacco ashes… It’s all very elegant and pure. Keeps going on with some rancio, mildly sour fruits, tangerines… Nutshell, firm yet very fine and elegant. Mouth: slightly leathery arrival, all being powerful and lively, without any heaviness, the sherry being very ‘accurate’ and clean. No rancio this time but a lovely woodiness (cigar box, cedar wood), this light smokiness… At the fruits department we have a little quince but the whole remains dry and pretty malty. Some shoe polish, more wax, smoke, dried orange zests… Light tannicity. Compact rather than wide. Kind of cigary (?) Finish: long, pleasantly drying and woody. Liquorice, pepper, ginger and tea in the aftertaste. Comments: a very nice yet slightly challenging sherried expression of HP that lets the original distillate shine through. ‘Respectful sherry’ says Olivier. SGP:463 – 91 points.