Warm copper hue.
Even at the relatively lower cask strength of 41.5% abv, this single malt still is packed full of classic Highland Park aromas. The dried fruit sherry oak sweetness is there, the whiff of aromatic peat smoke from Hobbister moor, the sea salt tang and some fresh orange zest.
The initial impact of the cask strength alcohol makes the lips and then the tongue tingle. The sides of the tongue start to dance as the hidden citrus emerges, warmth permeates the whole of the mouth, raisins, dates and dried plums to the fore with aromatic smoke arriving last.
As the powerful palate flavours subside, the classic gentle, oily slightly creamy smoky finish emerges which lasts and lasts.
The first Ambassador Cask was released in 2005 and sold out with a few short months; this became a consistent trend. However, all good things must come to an end and therefore the latest release, No. 5, in November 2008 was the last. These cask strength gems are brilliant for highlighting the natural colour, strength and character variations which emerge from our casks over time.
One of the casks offered on the Connoisseur Tour at the distillery was #8845. Gerry found himself looking forward to sampling this expression and sharing it with guests. It is not particularly high in terms of cask strength (a modest 41.5% abv), but this allows a myriad of subtle characteristics to emerge gently as the whisky warms in your glass. So when he was asked to select a final single cask, Gerry was drawn to this cask and wanted to bottle it “as the curtain call for our Ambassador Cask series.”
Cask #8845 was filled on 17th July 1974 and was housed in Warehouse 5 for over three decades. This classic refill hogshead sherry cask stood out in its year for the aromatic smoke balanced with dried fruit sherry oak sweetness which are both very apparent on the nose. Gerry particularly enjoyed the gentle smokey finish. The out-turn was 228 bottles.