Whisky Connosr
Menu
Shop Join

Highland Park 18 Year Old

Chewy caramels after dinner

3 1886

nReview by @nicko

10th Jul 2017

0

  • Nose
    19
  • Taste
    24
  • Finish
    23
  • Balance
    20
  • Overall
    86

Show rating data charts

Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

This is a lovely scotch from Highland Park. The classic light peat of the twelve is even more distant in this one.

Nose - light caramel and vanilla, honey, mild savoury tone.

Taste - big caramel, mild bitternes, nice savoury aspect (peat?). Some mild floral tones on the mid palate. Toffee. Lots of honey after it has sat for a while.

This one sticks on the palate - finish is considerable and delicious. Close to cloying but manages to keep everything in balance. Only criticism for me is I would a touch more peat like the twelve.

Such a great sweet single malt.

Related Highland Park reviews

18 comments

@GoodVintage
GoodVintage commented

The quality has dropped a little in recent years but still a great whisky, around £100 in the UK.

about one year ago 0

@casualtorture
casualtorture commented

I enjoyed this one quite a bit. HP has the ability to produce great stuff when they aren't focused on over marketed NAS offerings.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

But the Vikings!

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Robert99
Robert99 commented

@nicko I have never encounter a whisky with a palate worthing 24 and a nose only 19. How do you explain such discrepancies? Is the nose that weak? Or is 19 your reference mark for a nose without any quality or default?

about one year ago 0

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

Sadly not what it was 10 years ago when all the big name reviewers scored it over 90. The current bottle I have seems quite innocuous and lacking the big flavour it once had. It has also reached a price point that puts it on my "only if I see it at a can't refuse price" list. Still a very drinkable dram though, and I would agree with the mid 80s score, maybe 87-88. At least it isn't a raping, pillaging Viking.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

I just did my daily check on Whiskyfun. Serge has a review of the current HP18 today and he still likes it, with one or two caveats, and scores it 87.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

I only ever had HP18 once (an overpriced restaurant dram on my last birthday), but it seemed pretty unremarkable to me. High-quality, sure (though even some of that perception is probably due to expectations). But nothing to get too excited about.

That said, I did recently buy a bottle for my club when I saw a good price: $105 USD. I know a lot of guys in the club will be stoked about it. And I expect it will hold up well and probably shine a little brighter when tasted alongside the 12.

about one year ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@MadSingleMalt, if you want your HP18 to be optimal for your club, don't open it that night. If you do serve it from a newly opened bottle I will almost guarantee that you will be underwhelmed by it. Open it, decant or drink 2 shots, then serve it to them 4 months later. You may well not listen, but it you want to enjoy your HP18, that is the way to do it.

about one year ago 3Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

@Victor , what makes you think I wouldn't listen to advice that involves me getting two extra sneaky tastes?

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

@MadSingleMalt, I am glad to hear that you will consider the suggestion. Several other Connosr members who had been initially disappointed in their HP18 have also confirmed success in giving it the additional bottle-open time. Some have been happy with a lesser amount of time than four months open, but I do not recommend less than a period of four months to you.

about one year ago 2Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

@Victor , for sure. I'll just have to explain the missing whisky—I'm sure "a guy on the internet told me to drink it" will suffice. :)

Do you think it will just keep getting better and better, or will four months be something like a peak? I could open it and take my sneakers right now—you know, if I must—to really give it plenty of time to develop. The club won't be opening it until next June.

Thanks much for the advice.

about one year ago 0

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

@MadSingleMalt The one I am working on is from last October. I took @Victor's advice and it has settled down nicely. Still a bit disappointing though compared to older versions. I would buy it at $105, but not at well over $200 which it is here now.

about one year ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@MadSingleMalt, I don't expect additional benefit once it hits the optimal range. Once I got the HP18 to the optimal range I would decant it. If possible I would consume the bottle between 4 months open and 8 months open.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

nicko commented

@Robert99 The nose was a little muted (or my sense of smell highly deficient), but the taste was full and rich. Wonder if my peaty experiences have been a lot more interesting on the nose front.

about one year ago 0

@Robert99
Robert99 commented

@nicko Thanks for the answer. Sometimes I have a dry nose and I can't smell a thing. Then, a simple glass of water will help a lot. There is so many reasons for which I can have a bad nose day, so if I encounter a muted whisky, or a delicate one, on those, I would probably find it boring. Fortunately, we also have good days, and good whiskies! stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye

about one year ago 0

Wierdo commented

HP18 used to be one of my 'must have' whiskies. I'd always have a bottle in the house. But not anymore at £110 a bottle and rising. For me it's similar in quality to the likes of Talisker 18 and Old Pulteney 17. They're both around £75 a bottle. There's nothing about HP18 that makes it worth 50% more than those whiskies to my mind.

Edrington group seem to be doing the same thing with it they've done with Macallan. Premiunising (is that a word?) the brand so they can charge what they like and pricing many loyal customers out.

8 months ago 1Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

Hey, @Wierdo—welcome! And thanks for having a screen name that makes me feel rude to use! :)

Given your prices, I'd never buy HP18, either. It'd be Talisker 18 all day, every day among those three.

And yes, that's a word. But it's usually spelled "premiumizing," in case you want to find any of the angry chatter about it.

8 months ago 1Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

@Wierdo HP 18 seems to be on a steep price rise everywhere. I would take all the Talisker 18 and OP 17 I could carry at those prices.

8 months ago 1Who liked this?

You must be signed-in to comment here

Sign in