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Highland Park 18 Year Old

HP18 Very nice all-rounder

0 590

@jdcookReview by @jdcook

6th Jul 2010

0

  • Nose
    23
  • Taste
    23
  • Finish
    22
  • Balance
    22
  • Overall
    90

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

This was also a present for my birthday - this was one of two bottles my wife purchased for me (the other being a Glenlivet 18 year old). I'm only just getting over the flu, so it's been a frustrating few days not being able to open them.

The nose is big but not overwhelming. It starts with warm salted butter, which is complemented with honey and gentle floral notes. Hints of peat and oak come through in further sniffs. It leaves me feeling warm, with a residual smokiness. A lot going on here. This is really easy to keep sniffing.

The taste is warm and full - almost chewy. Creamy toffee sweet, complemented with salted peat, and notes of oak. A hint of chocolate. Fruity undertones. For such a big palate, this is a lot lighter than you would think and very drinkable. It has a little bit of everything, and all of it is good!

The finish is long and very sweet - loads of creamy toffee, but this is kept in check with a warm smokiness with just a hint of peat which keeps it from being overwhelming. Just a gentle tingle of spices (I noticed the tingle before I noticed the spices).

I'd heard really good things about this dram before buying, so I guess I'm ever so slightly disappointed. This is an excellent whisky, but it's not world-beatingly good (which is where I expected it to be). Don't get me wrong, I'll drink this any minute of any day (it's worth every bit of the 9 stars), but I was expecting it to give all of my out-and-out favourites a bit of a shake, and it doesn't quite reach that level. It has the perfect mix of sweet and savoury, but it's almost a bit too light for my taste. Mind you, we are in the dead of Winter here, and this might work better as a Summer dram - it is fairly light and easy to drink.

This would also be easier for people new to Highland Park than the 12 year old (which is a bit too smoky and peaty for some), but the price tag would be a significant deterrent.

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5 comments

@LeFrog
LeFrog commented

I don't think it gets much better than this for the price - an outstanding 18 y/o for around £55-£60 in the UK.

9 years ago 0

@jdcook
jdcook commented

It is an excellent dram, but it might sit on the shelf for 3-4 months until the temperature outside is a bit warmer - during the Winter months there are other drams I rate higher. I'll revisit this when I do. It might leap out at me a little bit more when my hands are warmer... :p

Part of the reason I'm ever so slightly disappointed is that it is a bit more expensive here in Australia - AU$160-AU$175 (£80-£90) it is around 3 times the cost of the HP 12 - and it is a better dram, but three times the cost? It's more than the Glenfarclas 15, Ardbeg Uigedail, Abelour A'bunadh, Talisker 18 and Ardbeg Airigh Nam Beist. It has to compete with all of those, and it doesn't quite hit me like most of those.

But again, it might hit the spot better during Spring or Summer.

9 years ago 0

texian6 commented

I love this whisky. For my taste, it is the best "all-rounder." I often tell friends that if I were stranded on a cold mountain somewhere, this is the whisky I'd want with me. The cost has skyrocketed in the US in recent years, however; almost double what one would pay only three years ago.

9 years ago 0

@jdcook
jdcook commented

Yeah, maybe I just hit it on a bad night. I'll try another drop on the weekend and see how that goes down. Maybe my flu from last week was still interfering. I'll post my thoughts here then.

9 years ago 0

@jdcook
jdcook commented

I'm having this one as a second dram this evening, and I'm just that little more impressed. It's still not quite up with the Ardbeg Uigedail (my personal favourite), Rosebank 12 or Glenmorangie Astar, but it is a 'high' 9 and I'll get a lot of enjoyment out of it. And yes, and all-seasons whisky.

9 years ago 0

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