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Highland Park 18 Year Old

A Grower

0 692

@OnibubbaReview by @Onibubba

23rd Dec 2013

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  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Overall
    92

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

In my short time as a whisky freak, no malt has grown on me as much as Highland Park 18YO. I first had this at a bar, and was not impressed. I suppose compared to some of the peatier malts I had, it just could not stand out. Several months later, I tried a sampler bottle of the 18. Without the distraction of more overpowering malts, I thought, "Nice." Nice enough to buy a bottle. It was good, but not a repeat purchase. But then, I did purchase it again. And again. And as I drink this yet again tonight, I feel compelled to share these thoughts.

Beautiful aroma, full of roasted sweet meats, honey, saffron, peanut brittle. Very little smoke and peat, but it is there - if you are willing to wait for it.

Sweet with a slight burn, and some salinity. Hazelnuts and nougat. A nice wood presence, which is slightly drying and only bitter enough to prevent the whisky from becoming cloying.

Finishes with orange peel, and just a bit of anise. Nice.

Sadly, the price of this beauty is rising. What was regularly available at 100, is now 130. So I advise, do what I do - Buy those hundred dollar bottles up now. Once you become hooked, you'll not want to be without this one.

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6 comments

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

An Honest review for an honest whisky.

@Onibubba, thanks for the reminder that this may soon be out of my range; as if it isn't already at $150 in Her Majesty's Ontario retail outlets. I find Glenfarclas 17 to be an acceptable substitute at 70% of the HP18 cost - best to have them both....Dear Santa....

5 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

I've had bad experiences lately with both HP18 and Glenfarclas 17. My friend bought a bottle of the 17 and it tasted like sulfur. Really bad. There was no cork rot. As for the HP18, it's a longstanding favorite of mine. I opened a bad bottle some time ago, and then got a very good bottle that was in the top few of the year. I went out and bought another, but haven't opened it yet. I'm kind of anxious. I did get it at a different store from the other bad one, but I'm hoping. When the HP18 is good, it's REALLY good. If you are on the fence about buying an 18, might I suggest you set your eyes a bit higher on the 25? They will also be phased out, and even faster than the 18's. Now is the time to jump on a bottle of 25. I predict it will become a collector's item in a few years. As for the 18, yes, it, too, but the 25 is worth saving I think if that's your thing. I'm not a big collector but I'm thinking of springing for a bottle. I've never tasted it before. My fear: could be too oaky for my taste.

5 years ago 0

@Onibubba
Onibubba commented

Paddockjudge, I had the Glenfarclas 17 once, at a bar. Same scenario as the HP18 - it failed to impress. I will revisit this range though.

Rigmorole, I have my eye on an IB G&M 24YO. Proof is just at 86, but that is the standard for HP. Price is 140. The official 25 however, is out of my comfort zone at 380.

I've had a few older bottles, and I know what you mean about too much oak. I had a 34 YO Old Pulteney (IB) that sucked the moisture out of my mouth. It was good, but, ouch. It left splinters :) Maybe 5 -10 years too long in the wood.

I am a whisky hoarder, but have no intention on selling - maybe trade at some point. But I hoard for drinking. My fear is that prices are only going to continue escalating, and NAS whiskies are going to edge out the dwindling older stocks. I shudder to think what the marketplace will look like in just 3 years. But regardless, I'll be sitting in the catbird seat!

5 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@Onibubba, you are so right that it is entirely possible that within 3 years that much of the quality product and affordable prices in the whisky world may evapourate. Like you, I have put away quite a few bottles for drinking because I do not expect it to be easy or cheap to get many of them later.

5 years ago 0

@vanPelt
vanPelt commented

I WILL try this again, based on stories like this of hard-earned romances. But nope, as I wrote, this one didn't do it for me. Aside from being fairly light, sour lemon entrance and bitter-liquorice finish are what I remember....

5 years ago 0

@Dreambuie
Dreambuie commented

do u know if this is chill-filtered or not? :)

2 years ago 0

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