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Highland Park 12 Year Old

Huge Disappointment

0 864

dReview by @dmessmer

1st Jun 2011

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  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Balance
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  • Overall
    64

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

I had heard so much about this one that when I finally tried it I had really high expectations. It failed to meet them.

Everything starts off wonderfully. The color is a lush amber, and the nose has a nice honeyed sweetness mixed with hints of smoke that is really wonderful. The nose is easily the best part of this malt.

The palate, though, is a strange mish-mash of different flavors, none of which come through all that well. It seems as though this malt is trying to do too much and, as a result, does nothing well. The smoke is there, the sweetness, hints of fruit, but it just doesn't come together well. All of this wraps up with a long and slightly bitter finish.

I wanted to like this malt, but just couldn't do it. I've tried it several times just to make sure I wasn't missing something, but I have the same reaction each time. I was glad to have tried it, but won't seek it out in the future.

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8 comments

@michaelschout
michaelschout commented

I don't really agree with your rating, but to each his own. I do however completely understand what you're talking about with the flavours. Jack of all trades, master of none sort of thing going on.

8 years ago 0

@mattberg
mattberg commented

For me the best in the range is the 16yo available in travel retail, silky, honeyed and perfectly balanced. The 18yo was a big disappointment for me, too syrupy and too rich. The 12yo is better than most but not outstanding, I've opted for the Balvenie Double Wood 12 which is a lovely whisky for its age.

8 years ago 0

@CaptinTom
CaptinTom commented

I also found this to be a huge disappointment. I tried really hard to like it, after reading so many good reviews but just found it lacking.

8 years ago 0

dmessmer commented

It might also have to do with the reputation. I had really high expectations, so maybe that clouded my impression. That being said, I did drink over half a bottle over the course of a couple of months, so it wasn't like this was a snap judgement. I just never found it all that remarkable.

8 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@dmessmer, I can easily understand how you were not overwhelmed by the HP12 and found the enthusiasm for it greatly exaggerated in your own experience. I had a similar experience, to a lesser degree, BUT, I have very recently had the experience of finding my SIX months open bottle of it to have opened up enormously in flavour, and to have become more sweet. You might actually find the whisky which others have been raving about it in your home if you keep your opened bottle around a couple more months before finishing it off.

8 years ago 0

dmessmer commented

Unfortunately, I did already finish my bottle. I must say, though, that I know what you're talking about. It took me about three months to finish the bottle, and by the end there was a honey flavor that was coming through more than I remembered at first. I thought I was imagining it, but your comments suggest that I wasn't. Still, I don't want to have to wait a few months to be able to enjoy a bottle!

8 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@dmessmer, I am right with you about not wanting to have to wait for a long time for flavours to open up from a bottle. It is quite a disincentive for me to purchase another bottle of a normally good whisky if I have been previously been burned me by its full flavours being inaccessible to me for a long time. I have commented several times on Connosr previously on this phenomenon of 'flavour migration' after bottles have been opened. I have seen cases of radical flavour change, usually improvement, after one and even two full years time of the bottle opened with some whiskies. Bourbons seem to demonstate this tendency the most of all, but it also occurs with malts and ryes.

8 years ago 0

@mattberg
mattberg commented

Interesting thread, I've just enjoyed quarter of a bottle of Aberlour 18 yo and just had the feeling that this might be better if left for a while now to develop and gather new flavors and mature in the bottle as I've tried it neat and with varying amounts of water and can't get much more variation out of it. Reading your advice here I will leave this for a few months and revisit in the Autumn.

8 years ago 0

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