I can’t quite remember where it was now. Somewhere in Yorkshire, at least. I was out with my wife and parents, driving somewhere up north, when we stopped at an amazing eco service station off a dual carriageway. Grass roofs, timber-framed building, with posh treats, a local butcher, and top-notch cafe all under one roof. It stocked all sorts of organic things, too, including alcohol. Naturally I meandered towards the spirits section, where lo! I found a bottle of whisky. Organic hippy whisky, of course.
Now I do enjoy organic products, as much because you get some nice hand-crafted, often small-batch whatever it happens to be. And I like whisky, as you may do too. There’s been a few organic whiskies that have been released over the years. Bruichladdich released one, which I liked – as did, uh, Prime Minster David Cameron. (I noticed very little shouting about that from the shores of Islay…) There’s also the Benromach Organic, which is a nice little whisky as well.
Organic whisky is nothing new – in fact, I suppose once upon a time all whisky was organic. But because the Highland Harvest was a new name on me, and came in at around £30, I thought what the hell, and bought a bottle.
Highland Harvest actually comes from (I think) the Lowlands of Scotland. It’s un-chill filtered, single cask and bottled at a healthy 46% ABV. It’s got the seal of the Soil Association and the USDA on the bottle, so it’s clearly appealing to the wider market and not strictly aiming at sandal-wearing, Liberal Democrat-voting whisky drinkers.
Colour: pale straw. Watered-down Liberal Democrat logo. On the nose: very young. Peaches, grape juice, hay barns, green apples. Quite sweet – like a fruit salad in syrup. Two-dimensional, but not bad.
In the mouth: there’s not a huge amount going on, in terms of complexity. Creamy and quite viscous. Malty, grass. A touch of yeast here. Cooked veg. Any sweetness on the nose is remote in the mouth. Dry cider. Quite herbal. And… that’s about it.
So there we go. It’s… okay. It’s refreshing and clearly pretty young. It might be the sort of thing you can enjoy casually outdoors in summer – it might even be good in cocktails with a glug of lemonade. But it’s about as exciting as a night with Nick Clegg.