I attended the launch of Highland Park ICE Edition in Oslo a couple of weeks ago. ICE is the newest release from Highland Park Distillery on Orkney and their second whisky matured in first fill bourbon casks. (The first one was of course Freya.) These casks has been rebuilt and has new cask ends with fresh American oak.
The whisky is bottled in 30 000 bottles at 53,9 ABV. It will be available in Norway in May. The price is not set yet.
Fresh and rich. Vanilla, pineapple, green apples, ginger and lime. Creamy and fruity on the nose. I could nose this forever. Smooth and rich, rich rich on the palate! A lot of spices mixed with vanilla and fudge. Very fruity. Green apples. Some eucalyptus and mint as well. Gentle smoke. This was a really nice and complex whisky. The finish is dominated by vanilla and oak and some fruitiness. Gentle smoke and nuts finishes off the lovely experience.
When I tasted ICE the first time I wrote a note to myself: “This is perfect. Is there anything at all that says I should not give this whisky 100 points?” Well, it IS almost perfect, and actually even better than Freya! I guess it is time for me to realize I have a soft spot for first fill bourbon matured whiskies! The second time I tasted it I admit the finish was not quite perfect and therefore the score is just a tiny bit lower than nose and taste.
My score: nose 24 / taste 25 / finish 23 / balance 24 = 96
Thanks to Ivar for the great picture!