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Highland Park 15 Year Old

Not Like the 18 Nor Like the 12

0 787

@VictorReview by @Victor

21st Sep 2013


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

The reviewed bottle has been open for 2 years, the last 11 months gassed for preservation. The bottle is 80% full.

Nose: an "old sherry" nose, especially after 2 years, raisins, prunes, grapes, but also cooked apples. The nose is more rounded after much time of the bottle open, but was always a very sherried nose. There are hints of vanilla, and the malt is mostly blended into the background. There is some sweet with a strong dry balance. The smoke noticeable in the Highland Park 18 YO is virtually non-existent here

Taste: good translation of the nose onto the palate, though, with air time, this has become very honey-sweet on the palate, similar to what I have seen with Highland Park 12 YO after about 5 to 6 months of the bottle open. The malt flavours are also much more distinguishable on the palate than they were in the nose. For me, Highland Park has some of the very best-tasting barley used in any whisky. So far, I like the Highland Park and Bruichladdich barley grains the best of all I have sampled. For me the sherry influence has also always seemed huge with this Highland Park 15 YO, stronger than it is in the Highland Park 18 yo, and much much stronger than it has been with the Highland Park 12 YO which I have tasted. I think of Highland Park 15 as a sherry trip, which is not the way I think of either Highland Park 18 or Highland Park 12. It is a very nice sherry trip, though

Finish: the flavours hold up a long time and leave a nice warm sweet wine-y glow

Balance: I will say it again: I consider this whisky to be a sherry trip. It has its own special mood in which to be maximally appreciated. Sweet and dry inclines to the sweet side after the bottle gets some air. Highland Park 15 is a little more dry and austere when the bottle is first opened. For me, the mood to drink Highland Park 18, 15, and 12 are three completely different moods. They are all nice in their own ways

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Taco commented

I really have enjoyed this in the past, more than the 12. It has a totally different taste to the other HP's. I have an unopened bottle, along with an HP 18, that I am looking forward to opening soon. I'll check back with an update on my opinion then.

10 years ago 0

FMichael commented

Of the 3 HP's that I've had (12, 15, 18) - I must say I like the 15 yr the most.

10 years ago 0

Victor commented

@Taco, don't be surprised if your HP18 requires 4 months after bottle opening to be at its best. There is a lot of commentary about this in various places on Connosr.

10 years ago 0

MaltActivist commented

Interesting review. I haven't had the 15 but am a big fan of the 18. The 12 is decent. The deft smoke on the 18 is what sold it for me so I'm curious how this one will measure up against that.

Do you know if this is the same spirit as the 18 just matured less or is it a completely different spirit from the 12 and 18?

It seems like you like this one.

10 years ago 0

Taco commented

It has a distinctly different barrel program than the 12 & 18, and this can be seen in the color of the whisky, which has a slightly greenish hue. Check the videos at the HP site on these whiskies, where their rep talks about this and the different tastes; well done videos! I agree the 18 is much better than the 12, so I save up for the 18. The 15 is very different from the other two and blind I wouldn't say it was HP, but it is quite good.

Victor - yes, the 18 definitely improves with air! I was sad to see my previous bottle disappear, as it had become so delightful in both nose and palate. I plan to open both the 15 & 18 soon that I have been saving.

10 years ago 0

Victor commented

@tabarakRazvi, I do like the Highland Park 15, but I consider it to be a little weird, because it doesn't really taste close to ANY other Highland Park expression I have had. Is there smoke here? Apparently none at all, and if there is any peat here it is nearly imperceptible. @Nock had some of this with me Friday night and he commented that he thought that there was no peat in this Highland Park 15 at all. Of course @Nock likes a lot of peat, and smoke, in his malt whiskies.

I do not know whether the spirit is just the same as in the 18 YO, but the Highland Park 15 YO and 18YO are two VERY different whiskies.

10 years ago 0

Nock commented

Here is message from Highland Park about the 15yo.

"The youngest whisky is 15 years old 30% of the casks used are first fill sherry cask 70% of the casks used are refill sherry casks. The big flavour difference is that we are predominantly using American oak sherry casks in the 15 where the 12,18 we are mainly using Spanish oak.

Hope this helps.


Gerry Tosh Head of Brand Education Highland Park single malt scotch whisky"

10 years ago 3Who liked this?

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