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Highland Park 18 year old was surely a treat all the way. Only the nose was a bit too sophisticated for my taste, but everything lacking in the aromas were definitely topped in taste and finish. I was already a fan of Highland Park 12 yrs. The 6 years older version managed to make me a fan of the whole distillery.
Highland Park 18 has a bit more depth in the smokiness when compared to the 12 year old. It also has very much character and for 18 year old whisky, it's surprisingly sharp, especially in the finish.
HP18 is like The International, an intriguing film with Clive Owen leading the way. The International offers lots of excitement with great action scenes but it's also a story that makes the audience think. It's like the complexity of HP18 combined with the sharp smoky edges that represent the banging action scenes in my reference.
Highland Park 18 is also highly appreciated and awarded which literally makes it The International. Surely a dram enjoyed very well all over the world, no matter what the situation is or where you come from. I'm sure it's a whisky for everyone.
Nose: Very smooth with dried fruits and floral notes. Delicately smoky with toffee.
Taste: Very rich in a creamy palate. Oranges, toffee and honey with lingering oak. The sharp but subtle smoke sneaks in and follows you in the finish as well. That's definitely my favorite part of Highland Park 18!
Finish: Round, spicy and long finish that manages to offer you many different things to chew on. Honey and peat are the main things but the deep smoke comes sharply from the background.
Balance: Rich with flavors and in good balance, only exception is the soft nose. Offers lots of nice sensations in a full and smooth but sharp package. I can easily see why this is so highly awarded and nominated all over the world.