Review #23: Exclusive Regions Orkney

As a preface, this is for Cask 36. While I cannot find the picture we took at the store, it was immediately obvious how much darker Cask 36 was in comparison to the other cask bottling (same 9-year). I guess the easiest way to illustrate is just to put some pictures from Google side-by-side. It’s not a perfect comparison, but I hope it gets the point across.

Lots of differences in color from year batch to batch!

This bottle has become our favorite and we ended up writing this review as a bittersweet send-off for this marvelous cask. In fact, we compared it to the (much pricier) 14-year Exclusive Malts Highland Park (Cask Number 754) and it’s heads and shoulders above it. For the price point ($50-60 vs. $145), it’s a clear winner. In vain, we have tried searching for the same cask at different stores – but what I have recently seen are all much paler and higher digit casks. If you find one, I highly recommend picking one up.

Highland Park Orkney Exclusive Regions Aged 9 Years

Overview

8.5 out of 10. Excellent to near-perfect. (Our rating system)

TLDR: “Buttery salted pecan cookies”

Overview: Perfect mix of savory and sweet – salty and oh so buttery.

Bought for: ~$60 at the Whisky Shop in San Francisco


Tasting Notes

Nose: Nail polish meets chocolate chip cookies and pie. Salted peanut butter cookies. Butter.

Palate: Caramel and raspberries before olive oil and butter with some high end restaurant herb-encrusted butter. More caramel cookies. Smoked cloves at the finish.

Mouthfeel: Viscous and oily


Additional Information

  • Cask: 32. The Exclusive Regions are highly cask-dependent. Not sure, but it’s probably sherry…?
  • ABV: 50%
  • Heavily hinted at to be from Highland Park (the only other one is Scapa). From the Whisky Barrel, it is “from a secret distillery in the parish of St Ola on the A691 south of Kirkwall”… which is a very cheeky way of saying Highland Park Distillery (Scapa is not on A691).

About Exclusive Regions and the Creative Whisky Company:

  • Exclusive Regions is a cask-strength single cask line designed to showcase the character of various regions (Islay, Speyside, Highland, etc). While it does not stay invariant from bottle to bottle, there are greater differences between each region than between bottles.
  • Started by former Highland Park brand ambassador David Stirk
  • Tends to be $50-60 in MSRP, which is very affordable for cask-strength scotches but also tend toward the younger age range (8-10 years)

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