Richard Geoffroy – whom I have known for more than 30 years – share a mutual love for whisky. The Frenchman (qualified as a medical doctor before switching to study oenology) retired as Cellermaster of Dom Perignon on 31 December 2018. Richard had been with DP for 28 years. One of our favourite Single Malts happen to be the same. I first visited Highland Park about 25 years ago (and, co-incidentally, reviewing their 25 Years Old). It wasn’t so much a visit but a pilgrimage. Put it this way, if I could take but just one bottle with me to a dessert island, it would be Highland Park. I may have to rack my mind as to which expression of Scotland’s most northerly distillery, but 25 Years Old would certainly be in the running. Sherried, heathery, soft toffee, and the earth, wind and fire of Orkney. Of the rugged 70 or so islands, only 20 are inhabited. And by a sprinkling of people. Except – like the whisky – these are rather special people. They brave the elements as the Vikings did who first arrived more than a thousand years ago. The winds are so strong, trees cannot grow in most places. Sorry I got blown off-track recalling my visit. Back to the spirit. The smoky peat rises in gentle but persistent layers. Like wave after wave of the tide coming in to claim the shore. A sweetness is released. It is viscous, fresh and not glycerol. Richness, brightness, and lift in every drop. Highland Park is a defining Single Malt that seduces in every sip. Long, intense, lingering. A First Growth of Scotland if ever there was one. And, for me, the Chateau Haut-Brion of Single Malts.
Taste this rare Single Malt at The Great Bordeaux • Champagne • Single Malt Dinner. Register at https://bit.ly/3oPHUQE