Highland Park Ice Edition is the first of a two park limited edition series from Highland Park that starts with the creation of the world (Ice) and ends with its destruction (Fire). In Norse mythology the ice giant Ymir was brought into existence when the edge of the Niflheim (ice realm) was melted by Muspelheim (fire realm).
While Ymir slept he gave birth to Frost Giants who ended up giving birth to Odin, Vili and Vé who killed Ymir and created the world from his body. His blood the water, his flesh the earth, his hair the trees and the mountains his bones.
In Highland Park’s Words: Highland Park Ice Edition
“A radiant whisky, natural in colour with mirror-like brightness. Up-front, vivid aromas of cool, fresh pineapple and mango sorbet give way to silvery shards of smoke and the frosty kick of root ginger. Like the Ice Giants themselves, the palate is powerful yet smooth, misty peat smoked inter-twined with vanilla seeds. A beautifully balanced finish, with lingering woodiness and spices.”
It makes sense to end the series with the creation (Highland Park Ice) and destruction (Fire Edition) of the world. Both releases could easily have been about Ragnarok and, for my sensibilities, I like that more.
If you’re not familiar with Ragnarok it’s the end of the world according to Norse Mythology, the beginning of which is the Fimbulwinter. Three straight years of winter on earth with only 2 survivors. These two, Líf and Lífþrasir, survive by hiding in Hoddmímis holt. Ice and then Fire… anyways, on to the Highland Park Ice review.
Highland Park Ice Info
Region: Islands, Scotland
Distiller: Highland Park
Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley
Age: 17 Years
Cask Strength | Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color
Highland Park Ice Review
Rich, buttery, and complex orchard fruit, honey, malty sweetness, toffee and cinnamon roll out followed by some bits of peat, banana and minerality. This is quite a nice aroma.
Like the nose it opens with a buttery and complex orchard fruit that gives way to notes of sweet malt, smoke, honey, caramel, nutmeg and creme brûlée. This wonderful favor is topped with a sprinkle of nuts, waxy citrus and banana.
Long fade where the peat shows up as the dominant player amongst additional notes of caramel, banana, cocoa and copper.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Great sense of balance, round full body and smooth slick delivery at full strength.
Highland Park Ice is great. It’s unlike most other Highland Park releases in that it’s 100% bourbon and doesn’t have any of the typical dark fruit / sherry notes that come with HP. I’ve had a number of ex-bourbon single cask releases, but never an OB so it’s interesting to see what kind of a flavor profile they were able to build by sourcing only ex-bourbon casks directly from their warehouse.
The entire dram is rich and buttery, but by far my favorite aspect of the Highland Park Ice is the aroma. The complex orchard fruit essence beguiles the nose as it makes its way through the olfactory. If the palate contained that same level of richness it would have been an A- without a doubt. As is, it registered a little lower on the scale despite also being buttery and flavorful, but a B+ isn’t anything to scoff at either. All-in-all a great dram.
SCORE: 88/100 (B+)
*Disclosure: This Highland Park Ice sample was graciously sent to me by the company for the purposes of this review. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.
Highland Park Ice Review - Score Breakdown
- Nose - 89
- Palate - 90
- Finish - 87
- Balance, Body & Feel - 88
Highland Park Ice is a fantastic example of a bourbon matured Highland Park