46.8% ABV - Orkney Islands, Scotland
Nose: Initially very sweet before some red fruits, prune, and the true Sherried nose hits. Slight must (that’s the smoke) and spices. Very approachable.
Taste: Lots of classic Sherry flavours with an emphasis on red fruits like plum and raisin. Hints of soft fruit candy and a saline characteristic. Peat smoke and black pepper lead into the finish.
Finish: Red fruit compote, oak wood—slightly drying, citrus, and wafts of smoke.
Highland Park Dark Origins is reportedly a combination of 80% First Fill ex-Sherry casks (60% European Oak and 20% American Oak) and 20% Refill ex-Sherry.
I’m generally quite disappointed this bottling has been discontinued, but I managed to get one more before they all disappeared. And one was enough for me. The next Highland Park that I would replace this with would be the 16-Year Twisted Tattoo, and if that was not available then I’d try to find Full Volume.
Dark Origins reminds me of Bowmore 10-Year Dark & Intense. They are both tasty, affordable expressions with a decent smack of ex-Sherry influence, but are both still lacking an overall complexity. Maybe I also draw the comparison to them each sharing "Dark" in the expression name... Highland Park Dark Origins is overall an excellent whisky, but with the black-coloured bottle, it’s really difficult to tell how much you have left!
Tasted 20 September 2020, 02 March 2021. (Posted 07 March 2021.)