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Highland Park 12 Year Old

A glorious burst of Highland honey!

0 1390

TReview by @Toastbongo

15th Nov 2011

0

  • Nose
    20
  • Taste
    23
  • Finish
    22
  • Balance
    25
  • Overall
    90

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

This is my first review - I've been considering writing one for some time, but I haven't opened a new bottle for a while and so haven't had that 'Wow! New taste!' rush for some time. Things have changed.

This is a gorgeous malt - it's a perfectly balanced study in the whisky-producing regions of Scotland. Whilst I seem to have found the nose rather lighter than my fellow reviewers, this whisky is absolutely bursting with flavour!

From the moment I sipped it there was a blast of honey rushing through my mouth with a perfect little dash of firey peat coming through afterwards to 'crisp off' the taste. As it moves on there's a touch of salt creeping in - I'm instantly reminded of the heather-covered hills of the Shetlands (my ancestral home) and the ever-present menace of the high seas. Wow. My first whisky-inspired bout of nostalgia!

Others have criticised the finish as brief: I must have had a fantastic bottle as my experience is completely the opposite. The distinctive honey-salt taste lingers at the back of my mouth for some time and fades gently away in a perfectly charming way.

HP12 is, to me, like a masterful piece of furniture - everything has smooth, rounded edges and the flavours are perfectly balanced and married together with consummate style. There's a feeling of 'shininess' that's present from the very first sniff and sip. The honey-salt-peat combination is absolutely perfect. I've been looking for a premium(ish) bottle to buy and if HP's 12 is this good, the 18 is coming up next!

I always read these reviews before buying a bottle to see if I think it'll suit my palate, so I thought I'd quickly list a couple of other bottles I'd associate this with. In short, I'd put it as a mix between Bowmore Legend (incidentally I prefer Legend to 12) and Dalwhinnie 15. It's like the best of both worlds. Glorious!

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13 comments

@Lars
Lars commented

Nice review, you have got me thinking with the comparison of Bowmore and Dalwhinnie. I may have to pick up this in the new year. So many whiskys'I have yet to try.

8 years ago 0

Toastbongo commented

Thanks - I would definitely recommend nabbing a bottle at the moment as it's on offer at all sorts of places. I think I saw it down to £20 in a Morrison's last week!

I'll try it again tonight to make sure that the comparison is correct. Might stick up another review while I'm at it!

8 years ago 0

@galg
galg commented

it's a lovely malt. but i would not go that far as to give it 90. have u had the 18 / 21 /25? those are sublime. over 90 for sure ;) lovely review, btw

g.

8 years ago 0

Toastbongo commented

@galg,

Sadly I haven't tried the 18/21/25 although the 18 is on my wish list! I rated it so highly because I was reviewing as a 10/12 y/old single malt - so I suppose I mean that it's 'best in its class'. Does that make any sense?! My general view is that if you enjoy whisky but don't have the means to get the top-end bottles, this is a damn fine dram to go for!

8 years ago 0

@galg
galg commented

Agreed.

8 years ago 0

whiskyfriend commented

If somebody can tell the bottle box on the photo is the only version, cos I've got HP12 in absolutely different box?

8 years ago 0

whiskyfriend commented

Bingo, this is exactly the same box I've got! Thanks a lot. It came to me from Duty Free in Entebbe (Uganda). Now I'm sure I was not tricked. In addition the whisky itself corresponds to all components mentioned in review with the only minor exception I couldn't catch the taste of salt (that most likely my personal peculiarity). General impression is awesome! Am curious if there is any other whisky with more profound salty taste, would be interesting to try...

8 years ago 0

Toastbongo commented

P.s. I was robbed in Entebbe. Funny times!

8 years ago 0

Toastbongo commented

@whiskyfriend

I'd say try something like Old Pulteney if saltiness is your thing. I'd also suggest Oban 14 which I recall being very salty or some of the Islay malts - especially Bowmore and Lagavulin (if my memory serves me well).

I can't think of many more off the top of my head (and due to my somewhat limited whisky knowledge!) but there are lots out there!

8 years ago 0

whiskyfriend commented

Thanks for the advice; I'll try to get one of those.

Though Entebbe is generally a quiet place, however the robberies do occur there from time to time. In any case I hope it was not the bottle of some precious whisky :-)))

8 years ago 0

@Lex
Lex commented

I hear a lot of people talk about Honey with this one. Maybe an Avocado flower honey (if your from or in California you can get it, but it's a very pungent and not so sweet honey) but this whisky is not one I'd call sweet. I find it to be really complex, salty and marshy, and maybe a seaweed taste, while also being very wood forward, as well as having a really strong sherry flavor (I read someone on this site say that HP12 was not sherried, but according to my palate and their website it is). I hear heather described with this one a lot, and I still don't really know what a heather tasting note is, but this whisky definitely tastes like the coastal outdoors.

7 years ago 0

@robsm2013
robsm2013 commented

Toastbongo: agree with you about the finish. Many say it is short; the finish is sweet with strong notes of honey, and a fantastic texture; rich, that lingers - not a quick finish at all - full-bodied, caramel; I also pick up notes of almonds - A great whisky for the price!

R

7 years ago 0

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