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Highland Park 12 Year Old

Rightly called a great all-rounder

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dReview by @drteeth

20th Nov 2010


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Another saturday, another review.

The colour of this whisky is remarkable: it is a beautiful full golden (perhaps even amber?), while no caramel has been used to produce this. Rather, this is the result of using first-filled sherry casks for a part of the production. The whisky shows slow, fat, rich tears.

The nose then. Whoa- there is a lot going on here. First we have honey and fresh fruit. I want to say apricots or peaches but I'm not sure. On the edges there is something spicy going on, and in the background there is a hint - and I do mean a hint - of smoke. Gentle, good-natured, simply marvellous.

Tasting the whisky, it turns into a slightly oil-like texture. Very comfortable. We get more sweetness, with some raw barley.

The aftertaste gives us a short lingering feeling on the tongue, which dies out quickly to leave a dry mouth and a load of the delicious sweet smoke from the nose.

While I did not particularly like this dram while I started out my journey some years ago, it has now become a staple in my whisky cabinet. It is simply beautiful. And if you'll now excuse me, I'm going to have another one...

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cclward commented

Great review , a staple

11 years ago 0

jdcook commented

This is one of the two whiskies (along with the Talisker 10 year old) that are staples in the collections of people who are true whisky appreciators. If you don't like these two, then chances are you have a narrow palate when it comes to whisky, and only enjoy a few flavour profiles. Most of us start with narrow palates, but over time get introduced to heavier and heavier whiskies - and these two are dangerous gateway malts... ;)

11 years ago 0

drteeth commented

@jdcook: now that you mention Talisker 10yo, it was the whisky that got me into Islay malts. I wonder where this one is going to take me... :)

11 years ago 0

AboutChoice commented

Good review @drteeth. I also did not care for HP 12 at first ... I loathed the rubbery nose. But during the coarse of that bottle I eventually came to appreciate the pleasant and balanced smoke and the lovely sherry, and it is now one of my goto whiskies as well. My new bottle is noticably different however: no rubber nose, less smoke, and a little more of a fruity & flowery Speyside character. Does anyone else get this impression ... or has all this good whisky perhaps altered my senses ? :)

11 years ago 0

BlueNote commented

I used to notice the smoke component of whiskys like HP 12 and Macallan 12 before I got much more into Islays and peated smokey whiskys. Now I don't really notice any peat/smoke in those Speyside, Highland or Lowland types. I think perhaps, as jdcook says, our tastes change and become more sophisticated and discerning the more of this wonderful liquid we expose ourselves to.

11 years ago 0

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