Celebrating the summer solstice, Highland Park crafted the limited edition The Light. The 17-year-old single malt matured in refill bourbon casks, a stark contrast from its sibling, The Dark, which matured in first-fill sherry casks.
To say I thoroughly enjoyed The Dark is an understatement. It remains one of my favorite single malts of the past year, if not the past few years. The whisky is a perfect wintertime pour with its dried fruits, spice, and overall richness.
With its refill bourbon cask maturation, The Light is meant to be enjoyed in warmer weather. The nose on The Light is vibrant and zesty, with hints of lemon peel, vanilla, and honey sitting alongside the distillery’s signature heathery peat. A floral top note adds to the mix. The palate stays close to the nose with initial notes of honey, vanilla bean, and lemon custard. Heather and a light dose of earthiness develop mid-palate. A light smokiness sits in the background throughout. Herbs and soft bittersweet dark chocolate notes reveal themselves towards the back-palate as does slightly astringent oak. The finish is long, bittersweet, citrusy, and a touch smoky.
While The Light is the complete opposite of The Dark, the Highland Park DNA runs through both releases with familiar honey and heather notes. The use of refill bourbon casks allow for the distillate to shine, whereas sherry casks sort of define The Dark’s aroma and flavor. I like that The Light isn’t necessarily a sweet malt. Those bittersweet and herbaceous notes balance things out nicely.
The Light is another enjoyable release from Highland Park, giving fans another side of the distillery’s releases that are typically sherry cask-matured. Priced the same as The Dark at about $300, The Light comes highly recommended. 8.5/10
Thanks to Highland Park for the sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.