Highland Park 10 Viking Scars – whisky review

Highland Park 10 Viking Scars

Ladies and Gentelmen, we have a situation 😉 Let me introduce… the Highland Park 10 Viking Scars – a slightly peated whisky with an age statement, bottled without artificial coloring. I saw somewhere the information about maturation in ex-sherry casks. There’s nothing left but to familiarize with this edition.

Highland Park 10 Viking Scars

Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Region: Islands (Orkney)

Aged 10 years

40% ABV

Peat, approx. 20 PPM phenols

Aged in ex-Sherry Oloroso casks

Chill filtered

Color: amber +2, with the addition of caramel

Tasting notes

Nose: at the beginning, alcoholic intensity hits you immediately. Caramel, some smoke, chocolate bars with liqueur, burnt matches, raisins. Very sweet, very alcoholic … very average. What happened? There are three factors, that can hide the alcoholic content: aging time – here, 10 years should work slightly better; the use of peat smoke for drying malt – although this method had also been used in this Whisky, unfortunately, this unpleasant sharpness remains; good quality oak casks – and probably that’s the point – huge ex-Sherry casks need a bit more time than 10 years to hide the alcoholic content… unfortunately, in this case you can feel the lack of maturity. The smell, practically unacceptable. Many blends without an age statement smell much better and less aggressive. 17/25

Palate: better. Dark chocolate – very noticeable, dried plums, something burned, like freshly burned matches – apparently the effect of sulfur from the poor quality of Sherry, in casks on which our Whisky had been aged. Besides: wood, caramel, ripe pears, figs, walnuts, maple syrup. Alcohol is much better hidden than in the smell. The taste is also nicer. Smoke level, a little less noticeable than in the Bowmore 12 (in HP – you feel more burning than smoke). Highland Park tastes slightly better, but Bowmore smells better (definitely less alcoholic, but the additional two years of ageing time also did its job). 18.5 / 25

Finish: cardamom, cloves, prunes cooked in red wine, apricot kernels, wood, sugar syrup. Quite sharp, warming up and medium long. 18/25

Balance: This Whisky is often recommended as suitable for beginners who start their adventure with peaty malts. Indeed, the smoke is not too dominant, and it’s quite clearly perceptible, but the quality is way too low. If it would be my first smoky Whisky, I don’t know if I’d buy another. 18/25

Overall: 71.5 / 100

Although I rarely do it in the case of Whisky with such a low alcohol content, I couldn’t refuse the opportunity to add a few drops of water, to see if this dram can be saved or defended.

Nothing happened with the scent, but it definitely improved the taste: it’s a bit sweeter and the bouquet became richer, not diluted. I recommend adding a little water, although it won’t do miracles.

Other reviews:

Serge (2013 – previous edition): 88/100

Price: approx. 30€

If somebody will buy me a dram of it, I won’t refuse, but I won’t buy a whole bottle of my own will. I’m glad that I only bought a sample.

The price-quality ratio … seems to be ok.

I read various opinions about this Single Malt. Many people like it, but not me.

I don’t recommend at all

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