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I bought a bottle of the Highland Park 12 Viking whatever when it first came to Ontario's shores, reaving, ransacking, and pillaging. I had planned on getting one of the remaining non-Viking HP12 bottlings to do a H2H, but alas, I was too late, so no Ye Olde Highlande Parke for me...until @fiddich1980 got me a sample of the pre-Viking HP. Many thanks to him for the sample (from batch L0514W) whence comes this review.
- Nose (undiluted): oloroso sherry is front and center, red fruit, orange zest, cocoa powder, soft peat smoke, floral notes, like little white spring flowers (hey, I'm not a botanist)
- Palate (undiluted): gentle arrival, lots of red fruit, a touch of honey, floral peat, a bit of smoke, very rounded
- Finish: medium length, somewhat drying, milk chocolate, roasted almonds, a pronounced minerality, a touch of dry smoke lingering
With water, there's a little brine on the nose. It gets peatier on the palate and finish with water added. More so than the new Viking 12, but it's really a subtle difference.
This is (was?) a jack-of-all-trades whisky, but it was also Master of None. Pleasant, enjoyable, but not a whisky I craved or dreamed about.