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Highland Park 12 Year Old

Not quite out of the park

3 484

@MegawattReview by @Megawatt

27th Apr 2017


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Nose: sharp and hot at first. Once the alcohol dissipates, I get notes of smoked meat, burning leaves, sweet honey, fruity impressions of grapes and apples...complex stuff to be sure, though not exactly gentle on the nose.

Taste: again somewhat sharp and tangy on the palate entry. Sherry-drenched malt follows, and then gets carried away by a cloud of smoke. A good deal more peat than I recall. I enjoy the evolution from sweet to peaty, even if it is not the smoothest experience.

Finish: sweet, lingering peat.

Balance: not quite the malt I was expecting, but it's been some time since I've had it. Complex and enjoyable throughout, but perhaps lacking the finesse I expect from a malt of this calibre.

Related Highland Park reviews


Victor commented

@Megawatt, thanks for a nice review.

HP12 seems to have a lot of batch variability. The one bottle of it I owned was completely locked up until the bottle had been opened for 7 months and then it blossomed with honey sweetness. It was nondescript and nonthing-y until that point. That bottle never showed any noticeable sherry, and based upon that bottle it was difficult for me to imagine any sherry-aging to be involved in HP12. @Nock gave me a taste of a bottle of HP12 he owned which was downright foul. That one was a very off bottle or batch. I also have no difficulty imagining HP12 turning out well with a different batch, because I have had so many good experiences with HP 15, 18, and 25.

6 years ago 0

Megawatt commented

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the whisky. But as it is prized for being one of the most well-rounded malts, I guess I am not finding this bottle as well-rounded as it could be.

6 years ago 0

OdysseusUnbound commented

Must be batch variability. My last 2 bottles of HP12 have been fantastic. Superbly balanced sweetness, a little fruitiness finishing with some nice smoke and Orcadian peat (which is markedly different from Islay peat). Going from memory (as I finished my last HP12 in January) I would probably rate it 87 or 88.

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

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