Bottled straight from the cask, without adding water to reduce the alcohol content, Cask Strength Release No. 3 is robust, intense, and complex. Highland Park’s Master Whisky Maker, Gordon Motion, has crafted this third release using a combination of three cask types: first-fill sherry seasoned American and European oak casks, with just enough from refill casks to add rich depth. That unique combination, in tandem with a higher proportion of Orkney peated malt than what’s usually used, gives Release No. 3 its trademark smoky character. The nose detects notes of smouldering peat and charred oak, with a touch of honey-glazed lemon and crushed aniseed.
What makes Cask Strength special is that each glass can be made unique, as you experiment with the amount of water added to reveal notes of ripe mango, cloudy heather honey, whipped vanilla cream, and a hint of aromatic violet on the tongue. The finish is long and characterized by pink grapefruit zest, freshly baked sponge, and a touch of heather peat smoke that lingers in the mouth. Depending on the amount of water added, these notes are found in different harmonies, allowing the whisky to be tailored to each palate.