Review #42: Archives 15 Orkney Highland Park

Highland Park independent bottlings have started cropping up a lot recently and we’re very happy about this. Rumor has it the Edrington Group (which owns Highland Park, Glenrothes and Macallan distilleries) had been selling off casks to finance their new massive and very beautiful Macallan distillery we wrote about a few months ago.

This bottle comes to us from The Whisky Archives, which is an independent bottler that’s an offshoot from the site The latter has over 120K whiskies in its database, and was started in 2007 by Menno Bijmolt to capture his own collection. Whiskybase later started a store in 2011 in the Netherlands and subsequently began releasing their own bottlings. We’ve been finding a lot of hits-and-misses with independent bottles, but we really enjoyed this Archives and will be on the lookout for future releases.

  • Score - 7/10

Tasting Notes

Nose: Saline, buttered chocolate brine, hay, sea, chocolatey smoke. Dried fruits + nuts, lemon, ash, hint of banana.

Palate: Sharp bite immediately, smoke, barbecued tootsie roll with a salty malt finish. Spice in mid palate like Indian curry vindaloo. Very umami, soy sauce and miso paste.

Finish: Long and oaky. Could use a bit more refinement.


TLDR: Umami Lemon Smoke

Overall: 7 – Good whisky. Interesting in a good way. Oddly umami and tastes different than other HP bottles we have – although the smokey finish is the same.

Bought for: $125 at K&L Wines

Quick overview of our scoring system

Additional Information

  • ABV: 55.9%
  • Aged 15 years in a hogshead (probably bourbon)
  • Cask 9, distilled 8/18/2003, bottled 10/29/2018

About The Whisky Archives

  • Independent bottler started by the team from whiskybase, a site that allows you to track your own whisky collection and look at historical pricing.
  • Label started in 2011 when the team’s store in Rotterdam Netherlands opened and has since then bottled over 120 casks
  • All whiskies bottled at cask strength with no additives or filtering.

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