Thursday, 4 March 2010

A welcome return

On the turntable: Ryan Adams & the Cardinals: Jacksonville City Nights
Uncorked: Highland Park 12

The weekend has come early to the Clubhouse. No work tomorrow so Thursday is the new friday.

I'm listening to Jacksonville City Nights which is a great album and an old favourite. Probably the most countryfied record of Ryan Adams post Whiskeytown output, this album was recorded pretty much live in what is, by modern standards, a very short space of time. There is an excellent documentary about the making of it called September, which shows a genius at work. He's currently taking a break from music but hopefully he'll release something soon because I for one miss him.

And tonight I'm drinking another old favourite, Highland Park 12, the baby of the family. This was one of the first malts I ever tried but I haven't sampled it for a long time so I'm looking forward to this one.

Nose: There's a sweet fruity fizz that tickles the nostrils for brief moment before transforming into a honeyed note. Something slightly chemically, maybe glue or paint, intrudes briefly followed by the barest hint of smoke.

Interestingly the nose develops after being left in the glass for 10-15 minutes (I'm feeling patient tonight), once its stood for a while the gluey chemical tones dissipate, I'm quite pleased about that. Honey and something fresh and floral have replaced them.

Palate: A medium body, starts with some barley sugars developing into a warm malty sweetness, hints of fruit coming through, something zesty. In the medium palate things begin to dry out and a hint of smoke wafts around. This is all very pleasant. Nothing is over dominant, just some well balanced, quite delicate flavours, good complexity moving from sweet, floral and bright to dry wood and very gentle smoke.

The finish is quite light and not over long.

This is an interesting whisky that seems to divide opinion, some people seem to think its a little light weight and I've heard it describe as not very "Scotchy", whatever that means.

I have to say I think people might be misled by its delicacy, its quite subtle so if you want big smoke or maximum sherry you're not going to find it here.

Taking into consideration the price (its not that expensive) this is a very accessible and easy malt that still has subtle complexity. Good for a relaxing drink if you're a seasoned whisky enthusiast and a great place to start if you're a beginner.


As Ryan Adams once sang, "I'll have another then I'll go to bed."

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