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Highland Park 15 Viking Heart

Paddington's Dram

4 583

@RianCReview by @RianC

27th Aug 2023


Highland Park 15 Viking Heart
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Currently enjoying a quiet Sunday afternoon, post golf, as the family have taken a weekend away without me. As such, I believe a celebration is in order :) What better time to have a dram (or two)!?

I got this as part of a bumper sample collection for the Whisky Lounge to make up for it being cancelled during lockdown. Review is with a couple of drops of water in 25 ml.

Nose - quite creamy and bready with some twiggy, nippy peat. Marmalade and lemon drizzle cake add sweetness; there's a light ale note too. Cinnamon spice. Quite nice.

Taste - thin mouthfeel, but nice mix of sweet, sour and peat hit the palate. More marmalade and i get a sense of both medicinal and twiggy peat styles. Certainly quaffable.

Finish - med. Ash, dough and a little sherry influence comes in.

Not bad at all, actually, but - somewhat predictably - I can't help feel a few more % would have really helped this. HP has never really wowed me but I think I just missed out on its glory years. A decent sipper but, for c£75, there's better out there.

Related Highland Park reviews


Victor commented

@RianC yes, 12 years ago Highland Park was a fan favourite on Connosr. These days not so much. I can tell you that I am extremely proud to have stored bottles of HP 18 and HP 15 acquired 10 years ago, but I haven't thought to buy anything from them since that time.

When you use the word "creamy" as a descriptor, are you referring to the taste or to the texture?

7 months ago 2Who liked this?

RianC commented

@Victor - Nice to have such old and high quality bottles!

Re 'creamy' - it depends. Here, as it's mentioned with smell, I guess it's a combination of creamy malt and dairy cream. Bready, especially white bread (have you ever had milk loaf?), would also be a close descriptor.

I have found whiski that have had a dairy cream flavour and/or have a creamy malt note too though.

7 months ago 2Who liked this?

Nozinan commented

I agree with @Victor. I rarely taste any HP but most of what I've tried in the last 5+ years has been underwhelming. I have bottle of HP 12 that I bought and opened in 2011. Still has 100-200 cc left (you can see I don't visit it often, in fact it has not been poured since July 2018 - my third longest interval currently). It was pretty good but with so many others around it sits in the back of the cabinet...

7 months ago 2Who liked this?

RianC commented

@Nozinan @Victor - I last had a 12 a few years back and even that seemed thinner and less complex than it has previously. It used to be a fairly decent supermarket whisky but, alas, no more. I was tempted by a 90's bottling of the 12 at a recent auction but it went out of my price range.

There's more than enough 'dissing' of HP but one can see it has potential. It must be frustrating to those who once really enjoyed it though to see its current dalliance with all things Viking; instead of, perhaps, focusing more on making the juice sell itself.

7 months ago 2Who liked this?

BlueNote commented

@RianC I've had a few indy bottlings of HP and they have been much better than the OBs. I think it's mainly because they are cask strength or close to it. Berry Bros has done some very good ones and the current A.D. Rattray Cask Orkney 15 year old bottling of a 46% HP is very good, not as good as the previous 18 yr. old version at over 50% ABV though. HPs seem to be much better from indys with some decent ABV, no chillfiltering and no added colour. I don't know why HP is so reluctant to produce, as Ralfy calls them, integrity bottlings.

7 months ago 2Who liked this?

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