I picked up this bottle recently on offer and it's the new bottle design with the embossed glass like my Mum's front window. Not a fan. I preferred the older style, but only add that as a mere footnote!
The whisky is, as they say, a great all rounder. It does have a bit of everything. It's at 40% and doesn't need water for my tastes.
It has a lovey sherry infused nose, some fresh raisins, with a slight bakers ginger and a pineapple pickle note. There's peat too and a little smoke but it's more forest peat than coastal or medicinal. Very nice.
Sweetish arrival then it starts to go quite sour and dry. I'm pretty much getting the nose on the palette. Maybe more peat and less of the sherry influence. There's also some fresh pineapple in there.
Finish is sour and dry with a touch of, well, I'd say anise over licorice but it's something between the two for me. Maybe a slight drying herbal note as well, and it fades out to some mildly bitter tannins.
Overall it's very decent and was excellent vfm. If you're in the UK you'll understand! I have an older bottling which I can't be bothered to fully compare side by side with (sorry) but this is definitely a bit lighter. From memory I thought my last bottle, from about 18 months ago, was a bit richer. This isn't thin on the palette for such an abv but it's more in the taste that something seems to have lessened slightly.
I do like the flavour profile and imagine older bottlings to be very good indeed, but out of my price range sadly. A very satisfying daily dram.
Thanks for the review. As many are fond of saying, batch variations are common with whiskies as ubiquitous as HP 12. Sounds like you got an “average” bottle. I expect HP 12 to fall in the 83-86 range for my tastes. I have had bottles as good as 88, but it’s been a rare experience.
@BlueNote - Always been at 40% as far as I know in the UK. Just the older style of bottle. Seems I may have missed the 'better times' for HP? Still a decent value dram though.