I was recently summoned to Bourbon & Branch in San Francisco’s Tenderloin to celebrate the debut of a very special Scotch whisky, Highland Park 1968. This 40 year-old single malt is the first in their Orcadian Limited Edition Series. To be released over the next 5 years, each bottling will consist of just 8 casks each, hand selected by Max MacFarlane–that’s just 1550 bottles world-wide.
Retailing at $3,999, Highland Park 1968 comes nicely appointed in a decanter style black bottle with Pictish knotwork on the neck and the Highland Park’s “H” logo in Pewter on the front. The bottle comes in a cabinet quality oak box adorned with a silver “H” on the outside and Viking art illustrates the inside of the lid. Inside the lid a panel slides away to reveal a leather-bound book with tasting notes and information about the series.
So how did it was it?
Well, in a word, amazing.
It’s nose is as smooth as they come, with hints of honey and none of the alcoholic tones. On the tongue, everything is just right. Hints of orange peel, oak and vanilla are complemented by a delicate spiciness.
Of course, we couldn’t just jump in with the 1968. We ran the Highland Park table starting with 18 year, then 25, 30 and 40 year, all Highland Park single malts are aged in sherry casks made of American and Spanish oak and matured in the cool climate of Orkney.
Each whisky was masterfully paired with cheese by Wil Edwars of the Artisan Food School. Cheese ranged from a local Sonoma Tome to a very rare Cheddar from the Isle of Mull, which was paired with the Highland Park 1968.
If you get a chance, get your mouth on the Highland Park 1968.
Ladies, this is one hell of a Father’s Day gift.