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Highland Park changes for the better!

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Highland Park changes for the better!

Postby MGillespie » Mon Nov 13, 2006 2:58 am

Talked with Russell Anderson, the Highland Park distillery manager, at WhiskyFest the other night...for those of you who can't stand caramel coloring, he told me on the record that they have decided to remove what little caramel coloring they were using in the 12YO. All of the other HP's were natural, and they decided that it was best to do the same for the 12.

From what I understand, all Highland Park 12 that is in the new-style bottles is caramel-free...

Mark
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Nov 13, 2006 3:37 am

Do I spot a trend aborning? I surely hope so!
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Postby Thesh » Mon Nov 13, 2006 4:00 am

Guess I have to finish off my current bottle then...
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Postby Lawrence » Mon Nov 13, 2006 7:58 am

MrTattieHeid wrote:Do I spot a trend aborning? I surely hope so!


This is 100% customer driven, good for HP for listening to their customers.
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Postby Nidaros » Mon Nov 13, 2006 11:03 am

This is good news!

Caramel is unnecessary. A beautiful face needs no makeup.
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Postby EdipisReks » Tue Nov 14, 2006 3:44 am

the current non-caramel bottles are a beautiful color, i don't know why Highland Park ever thought they needed to mess with it. it's my favorite sherry expression , and it needs no artificial help.
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Re: Highland Park changes for the better!

Postby bernstein » Tue Nov 14, 2006 6:39 am

MGillespie wrote:T All of the other HP's were natural, and they decided that it was best to do the same for the 12.
I thought the 18yo was coloured as well. Should look it up when I get home.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Nov 14, 2006 12:45 pm

Good for them. Let us hope that others follow suit 8)
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Postby Scotty Mc » Tue Nov 14, 2006 5:54 pm

I wish all distillers would take this on board. I'm not convinced either way whether E150 changes the taste of a whisky but it does add consistency to the look of the product.

Go HP!! :lol:
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Postby sgsoloplayer » Thu Nov 16, 2006 11:12 am

Go HP is right! I love their 18 year old and this thread has inspired me to have a dram. Long live Highland Park!
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Re: Highland Park changes for the better!

Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Nov 16, 2006 12:23 pm

bernstein wrote:I thought the 18yo was coloured as well. Should look it up when I get home.


Hello, I just checked, and mine says 'ohne farbstoffe' - no artificial colouring added. So those of you who have tasted the ' very noticeable and distinct flavour of caramel colouring' in the HP 18yo, guess what - err, no colouring, sorry.

:twisted:
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Postby MGillespie » Sun Nov 19, 2006 5:20 am

That's because the 18YO has always been all-natural...the only one in the range that received caramel tweaking was the 12YO...

Mark
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Postby Marvin » Sun Nov 19, 2006 3:43 pm

The 18 looks coloured to me. Uncoloured whiskey is rarely that colour, it's much lighter!
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Postby Jan » Sun Nov 19, 2006 3:49 pm

Marvin wrote:The 18 looks coloured to me. Uncoloured whiskey is rarely that colour, it's much lighter!


That actually depends on the casks it has matured in and the amount of time it has been maturing - does anybody know the sherry/bourbon cask proportion in the 18yo ?
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Sun Nov 19, 2006 4:08 pm

Both sherry and bourbon casks can lend strong colour to the whisky. What matters more are the ratio of first fill casks used, no? Also, I think someone here on the forum once wrote a post refering to someone in the know that it only takes very few casks with strongly coloured whiskies to have a major impact on the finished vatted product?
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Nov 19, 2006 5:26 pm

The natural color of whisky varies quite a lot. I've seen old whiskies that were quite pale, and young ones that were quite dark. As mentioned, there are many factors involved. If you have a chance to check out the range of an IB that you know doesn't use color, you will see the variation quite plainly. (I don't know of any IB's that color--there's no point, since all the bottlings are one-offs, so there's no need to try to maintain consistency.)

My nominee for suspect color is Lagavulin 16, not only for darkness (compare to 12--surely the wood regime is not that different) but for its peculiar orangey tone.
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Postby Marvin » Sun Nov 19, 2006 8:00 pm

Most use caramel. Seriously, the majority use at least some caramel.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Nov 19, 2006 8:58 pm

Marvin, most OB's use caramel. Most IB's do not.
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Postby Marvin » Sun Nov 19, 2006 9:14 pm

I dont think there's any garantee of that tbh.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Nov 19, 2006 9:37 pm

Of course not. But generally it's true.
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Postby Ize » Mon Nov 20, 2006 12:24 pm

Mr Tattie Heid, I can confirm that your doubts are true, standard 16yo Lagavulin is coloured. German legislation (wherefrom I buy my bottles) demand marking if E150 is used ... and on Lagavulin etiquette one can find "mit farbstoffe".

I must remember to check older Highland Parks (that is 18yo and 25yo) how it is with those. But 12yo, as told already, is containing E150.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Nov 20, 2006 4:11 pm

Oh, I knew it was colored. I'm simply boggled that they make it that shade on purpose. It's like a bad dye job.
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Postby Marvin » Mon Nov 20, 2006 7:03 pm

I wish they wouldn't try to make the colour nice, to me the colour is completely unimportant.
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Postby bernstein » Mon Nov 20, 2006 7:23 pm

Ize wrote:I must remember to check older Highland Parks (that is 18yo and 25yo) how it is with those.
I wasn't sure myself last week, Ize. So I had to look it up as well. But my HP 18 doesn't bear any hint on E150 on its label. So I'll happily plead for absolution.

Edit: Ooops - just read M.R.J. cleared this one up already, sorry! But good on HP!
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Postby Marvin » Mon Nov 20, 2006 7:56 pm

bernstein wrote:
Ize wrote:I must remember to check older Highland Parks (that is 18yo and 25yo) how it is with those.
I wasn't sure myself last week, Ize. So I had to look it up as well. But my HP 18 doesn't bear any hint on E150 on its label. So I'll happily plead for absolution.


No whisky I've ever seen mentions E150 on the label. I have a few bottles of dark rum here too and they dont mention E150. But I'd be prepared to bet that they do contain it.
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Mon Nov 20, 2006 8:02 pm

Marvin wrote:
bernstein wrote:
Ize wrote:I must remember to check older Highland Parks (that is 18yo and 25yo) how it is with those.
I wasn't sure myself last week, Ize. So I had to look it up as well. But my HP 18 doesn't bear any hint on E150 on its label. So I'll happily plead for absolution.


No whisky I've ever seen mentions E150 on the label. I have a few bottles of dark rum here too and they dont mention E150. But I'd be prepared to bet that they do contain it.

That's because it isn't required to say so on the bottles sold on the UK market. In Germany - by law - it has to be declared on the bottle.
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Postby DramMeister » Mon Nov 27, 2006 9:46 pm

Mark (or anyone else for that matter)
Have you noticed any difference in flavour?

Might have to get one.
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Postby Admiral » Tue Nov 28, 2006 3:32 am

Great news on the deletion of caramel! :)

Given that that's now two of Edrington's distilleries being caramel-free, I wonder if Tamdhu will follow suit?

Now if they could only solve the problem of corked whiskies, which seems to be prevalent amongst HP bottlings. I don't know why TCA is appearing in HP more so than any other bottlings, but it is a worry.

Cheers,
AD
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Postby EdipisReks » Tue Nov 28, 2006 3:41 am

excuse a newbie, but what is TCA?
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Postby Admiral » Tue Nov 28, 2006 5:00 am

excuse a newbie, but what is TCA?


Chemically speaking, it's 2,4,6 trichloroanisole.

TCA, as it is affectionately known, is a small and chemically simple molecule. TCA can be detected in dry white wine and sparkling wines at levels around two parts per trillion (0.000000000002 grams in a litre of wine), and in red and port wines at around five parts per trillion.

Such low concentrations are difficult to conceptualise but it is analogous to one teaspoon in a couple of thousand olympic sized swimming pools or one second in 32,000 years.

Whilst TCA is more commonly called "cork taint", it can be misleading, because whisky can be "corked" without the TCA actually coming from the cork! It can also be imparted by fungus in the casks; contaminated bottling plant equipment and so forth.

Cheers,
AD
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Nov 28, 2006 5:10 am

And what does it taste like? I ask because I've had a couple things lately I'm suspicious about. I'd actually be relieved to know they were tainted.
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Postby Admiral » Tue Nov 28, 2006 5:22 am

Actually, you'll smell TCA long before you ever think you might be able to taste it.

It smells of rancid, wet cardboard or wet hessian; or perhaps the smell of something damp and mouldy, like a poorly ventilated underground cellar or something. It is instantly identifiable and absolutely destroys the nose of the whisky.

Rather than trying to describe what it tastes like, I would rather assert that it simply masks and clouds the genuine taste of the whisky, perhaps like a blanket. It's not something you taste, it's something you smell.

Cheers,
AD
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Nov 28, 2006 6:12 am

Thanks...okay, that's not it.
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Postby EdipisReks » Tue Nov 28, 2006 8:34 am

ah, i've tasted, well smelled i guess, that in wine before. i've never noticed it in whisky, i guess i've been lucky so far.
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Postby Admiral » Wed Nov 29, 2006 3:47 am

It's far less prevalent in whisky.

In the Australian wine industry, TCA is believed to taint anywhere between 3% and 10% of all bottled wine.

I've only encountered TCA twice in whisky, and needless to say, that's from a lot of bottlings (I don't know...700? 800?).

However, I do have colleagues here who have also encountered it in some of the whisky they've opened at home or used for functions, so it does bob up occasionally.

Cheers,
AD
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