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Highland Park 18 Year Old

High Expectations

0 893

@MaudeReview by @Maude

5th Sep 2011

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  • Overall
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I had heard a lot of good on this whisky before I had the pleasure to taste it myself. Some of the well known experts mention it as one of the best from the Highland Park distillery. Therefore I had great expectations for that specific whisky, and I dare to say that they were not all fulfilled, altough HP18yo is a very fine whisky. I was expecting something more explosive or provocative, but this one is not. Balance, balance and balance: that is what it is all about. But that makes it one good dram that I will drink and re-drink again!

Nose: There is definitely some peat in there, a good presence of pear and hints of honey sweetness. Very soft, I could smell it for hours.

Taste: Honey and pear again, very smooth, a good texture. After a little while the peat subtility becomes more present.

Finish: Long and enjoyable spicy finsih.

Overall, this whisky is highly enjoyable, but if nothing stands out, it is because this whisky is perfectly balanced which makes it deliciously smooth.

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8 comments

@Victor
Victor commented

@Maude, did you sample it from a newly opened bottle, or from a long-opened bottle at a bar, etc.? The reason I ask is that our newly opened bottle took a full three months for the flavours to open up to what I would call "standard HP 18" flavours. At three months bottle opened our HP18 tasted like the HP18 samples I had previously encountered at bars, etc. Whisky flavours do change a lot after the bottles are opened. I have found this to be true of HP18, and even more so (longer delay of opening) with HP12.

7 years ago 0

@Dellnola
Dellnola commented

Victor, I couldn't agree more. I'm on my 6th bottle of Highland Park 18, and every time I look forward to seeing the level drop to the label. it always seems to be rather fresh upon the initial popping of the cork.

7 years ago 0

@mattberg
mattberg commented

if you can try the HP 21yo ....superb whisky

7 years ago 0

@Maude
Maude commented

I take good notes of your advices!

7 years ago 0

@GregLogan
GregLogan commented

@Victor - Yes, your wisdom is indeed coming to pass. In fact, I found that this is even true of single pour of literally any whiskey - the pour comes out often with a strong iodine nose, etc. and sits and "breathes" (opens up) for 15 - 20 minutes - or more... I noticed that the Talisker 18 absolutely improved over about 30 minutes - and now despite my initial disappointment with that expression, I am broken hearted that it is impossible to get more in the States as far as I can tell - esp. not at the rate I paid for my first bottle.

So my point is - that "crappy" HP18 that I referenced is indeed changing literally in every respect - almost as a living being is coming alive. Now if the HP12 could hurry up and do likewise...

So I feel a lot better re: my HP18 purchase - some faith in God has been restored... (and significant faith in your wisdom).

BTW - I have also found quite a difference in the front and back palates - the front obviously being much sweeter since the sweet taste buds are located there. Does that make sense? So Palate needs to be refined a bit it seems.

7 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@GregLogan, it is very good to hear that you are now getting the full excellent HP18 experience (and, I hope, you are too, @Maude!). I have several times liked to refer to whiskies in postings as "living breathing beings". They change a lot over time and have their own life-cycles.

7 years ago 0

@GregLogan
GregLogan commented

@Victor - Interesting that you picked up on this same characteristic. I am find quite interesting this sort of thing that I never had any idea about until experienced (or educated - but there are no scotch classes in public school... too bad!). The other characteristic I was surprised by is just how sweet scotch is - and I suppose all whiskey. So much of my perceptions were as a kid and the sort of bitter taste of alcohol. However, I think that as I have gotten older my tastes have organically changed - I don't know that kids taste whiskey the same way. Some research is in order...

Thanks again for your input.

BTW - I do have a question re: storage. Do you have any preference? Is Scotch somewhat immune to say temperature ranges between 55 - 70 degrees (approximately the range of my living room where my material is stored).

Greg

PS Fingers crossed on that HP12 now...:-) It is still a little sour.

7 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

Regarding storage, everyone says cool and out of sunlight is what you want. I don't get too fussy, but then again, my house is not finely climate controlled.

7 years ago 0

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