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Two months ago, I bought a Highland Park 12.
I'd never had the pleasure, but I've noticed it's on many 'favorites' lists. I'm a member of a few messageboards (including one dedicated to Scotch ;) ), and there seemed to be a consensus that the Highland Park 12 was a fantastic 'daily drinker' among the single malt-minded members - across the boards.
I've got a palate that favors distinction - I like the differences that make the drink such a singular event with each maker (and sometimes each bottle). Current favorites are: Glenfarclas 17 Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban Talisker 1992 Distiller's Edition Macallan 18 Macallan Fine Oak 10 Glenfiddich Ancient Reserve 18
- if you've enjoyed any of those, you'll know I like a wide variety in my drams.
That said, there are nights when I don't need a complex event to fill my glass - a 'simple', refreshing taste is what's wanted (the Glenfarclas 12 and the Macallan Fine Oak 10 have been standing in nicely, here). So, it was with that in mind I approached The HP12 (with many personal recommendations) with appropriate expectation.
What a disappointment, then, to find the HP12 a thoroughly dissatisfying single malt.
There's no uniqueness here. It's all nose. The scent from the bottle, and subsequently from the glass (+ one small cube to open it up) is encouraging. There's vanilla and a little smoke. But that's it. You're done in by the time it hits your tongue.
There's no 'ride' whatsoever, it's just down the hatch. Nothing lingers. It's almost as if the taste disappears. There's certainly no hint of the sherry casks they use (which I tend to favor) - this may be due to HP's predilection for 'harmonizing' their Scotch (by continually emptying/filling various other barrels with the Scotch until they consider it's 'done').
Regardless, this is a featureless, bland and forgettable dram that serves no purpose for me.
Understand, it's not 'bad' - there's just nothing there.
So, if anyone needs a bottle (minus a few ounces) just let me know...