N: Interesting, has the same tomato plant vegetal quality like some other first fill sherry cask bottlings (Linkwood) from Murray McDavid during this period. P: Very sweet, not like Highland Park at all, smoke is very restrained. F: Carries through with sherry fruit and spice. Apparently the standard range of HP has a certain percentage of first fill sherry cask whisky in it which contributes the sweetness and refill cask matured whisky adds the smoke. [There are some good videos on Singlemalt.tv about this] This is decent stuff, but could use that smoke to balance it out. Goes to show that the Master Blender plays an important role with single malts as well.
Nose has some sulfur and pencil shavings, sherried scents. In the palate the sulfur doesn't bother me, it's not really here. A nicely sherried, lightly peated number that doesn't have a standard Highland Park character to it, strikes me more like a Linkwood. A nice surprise.