The staple Highland Park 12 Year Old was voted the favourite of the most recent tasting at the Forest Lodge Dram Club tasting, coming up trumps over three other Scotch whiskies and an Aussie malt.
The unique flavour of Highland Park’s subtle smoke, coming from the peat from the heather-covered Orkney Islands, proved a hit with attendees. Highland Park malt approximately 20 percent of their own usage from local peat and coke, with the remaining barley sourced from the mainland.
Other drams in the hunt were the creamy Glenrothes 2001 and the peppery Talisker 10.
Black Gate‘s extremely limited (just 159 bottles, we cracked #3) ‘520s’ was a close second in voting, the 67% cask strength nature of the dram perhaps a little challenging alongside the comparatively tamer other whiskiess. A vatting of five 20 litre casks, hence the name, it is a deep, rich whisky with back end pepper and fruit sweetness.
In all we sampled the Glen Grant 10, Glenrothes 2001, Highland Park 12, Black Gate 520s and Talisker 10. All those bottles are now behind the bar at the Forest Lodge Hotel.