Released in 2008, Highland Park 40 was named Best New Release of the Year at the World Whisky Awards 2009. It has been largely matured in refill casks, that is to say casks that have previously been used to mature whisky. Every time a cask is used, its ability to impart an influence on the spirit is diminished. When laying down a whisky for extended maturation, such as this, it is important that the cask doesn’t dominate the spirit. If first fill casks had been used, the sweetness (an oak-derived additive quality from the cask) would have been too strident. Appearance: Rich hues of russet and copper. Nose: Spicy and aromatic with a background of rich dark fruits, Nutmeg, cinnamon, lemon zest and darkest chocolate. The use of refill casks, allows, Highland Park’s trademark smoke to be retained, even after 40 years in wood. Palate: Beautiful balance of sweet toffee notes, dark chocolate, black cherries, honey, sun dried orange zest and aromatic heather peat smokiness. Finish: Rich, long, elegant, smoky and surprisingly sweet. Lingers forever. The long-term nature of the maturation of Highland Park 40 year old allows time for the perfect balance to be achieved. The colour, as with all bottlings of Highland Park, is entirely natural; the delicate coppery paleness of the whisky is down to the judicious use of refill casks. The strength (alcohol by volume) is relatively high at 48.3% to deliver maximum flavour.