Distiller: Highland Park. Region: Highlands/Islands. ABV: 46.8%. No age statement. Price: $80.
The Dark Origins is a velvety no-age-statement dram from Highland Park that doubles the sherry cask influence of the standard 12, and is meant to replace the 15-year-old in the near future.
The release is matured 80% in first-fill sherry casks, 20% refill sherry. Needless to say, the sherry is strong with this one.
There’s light honeyed smoke on the nose, plus stewed and candied fruits. The palate adds loads of bitter orange, plus more oak tannins than the Highland Park usually brings. Dark chocolate and lingering smoke on the finish.
It’s a more substantial and interesting dram than the 12-year-old Highland Park, but it struck me as a bit unbalanced overall. It’s not cheap for an NAS, but sherry fans will want to check it out. I’ll be revisiting this one myself, but in the meantime I’ll be pouring myself another A’Bunadh.
Sláinte, friends! -BO