?Packaged in a quality black and gold finished presentation box, Highland Park looks the part, sporting a wonderful insight into the history of the distillery since 1798. It's a 12-year-old single Malt whisky, made from best barley malted over burning peat from the local Hobbister Moor. The Heather honey aroma and the well-rounded slightly smoky sweet taste make Highland Park an experience to remember. The Orkney origins, unique distillation method and fantastic provenance give the brand a real point of difference and it should be racing into the single malts top ten.
John Taylor, head of buying, impulse, MBL
?My first impressions were mixed. I think the outer carton looks a little cheap - a metal one would have been nice - but in any case I wonder whether it's necessary at all in this age when packaging waste is such an issue. The bottle looks wonderful, though, a classic design with a nice chunky feel that makes the product seem special. The whisky itself is lovely and smooth, with none of the sharp tang you get from cheaper Scotch, and at about £25 a bottle I think it represents reasonable value.
John Clarke, 57, publisher, London
A year down the line... YSB Company: Rogue Ales Launch price: £2.99 Today's price: n/a Acid test verdict: 3.5 stars
The 4.8% American beer by Rogue Ales is described as being rich and flavoursome and it has a deep amber colour. Last year's Acid Test panellists were relatively impressed. The consumer - a 35-year-old male - liked the fact that the beer tasted lighter than it looked, although he had reservations about the £2.99 price tag. The expert gave the beer an even higher score, which he based predominantly on taste. It is understood there are currently no UK off-trade listings. The company declined to comment.