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Highland Park Bottling Codes

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Rigmorole started a discussion

Does anyone know how to decipher this code on my bottle of HP18?

L0199R L4 28/05 12:34

Was this whisky bottled on the 28th day of 2005? If so, is 2005 a good year?

6 years ago

26 replies

Rigmorole replied

the "L4" can't equal 2004. That's just too long ago to be likely. The 28 could mean 2008. That seems likely but still, not sure.

Logically, one would think it means the 28th day of 2005 but that seems too long ago, as well. The link you nicely provided, Onlyhalfmad didn't really gel with the numbers on my bottle. There is no box code, I'm afraid. Thanks for trying to help. Nice of you to respond.

I am really hoping this is a 2004 or a 2005 bottling. Not likely, however. All of the bottles in the store (about 8 in all) had the same bottling code. The whisky inside is not terribly light. I"ve found that the older 18 years are a bit more pale, and this, either by chance or not, has equated to far better flavor.

6 years ago 0

@Onlyhalfmad
Onlyhalfmad replied

Just looked at my bottle of Sienna that had to be bottled 2013 or 2014. L0148R L4 18/04 20:16

6 years ago 0

@Onlyhalfmad
Onlyhalfmad replied

I have a bottle of HP 30 bottled at the new strength but it is not stored at my house, I will hopefully have access to it next week at some point. As it was also bottled in the last year it might help.

6 years ago 0

@systemdown
systemdown replied

@rigmorole Do you have an approximate bottling year going by the label only? I'd say the "L4" was 2014 if I didn't have any more information, but obviously that would only be right if the bottle had a "current" label for HP 18. If it doesn't then immediately we know that's wrong.

The "L" codes can use a single digit sometimes e.g. "0" for 2010 or "2" for 2012.

Since they only started about 2004/5 I think the earliest L number I've seen is 5. If I saw an "L5" today it would have to be 2005 because we haven't hit 2015 yet. If you think 2004 is too old for your "L4" then.. back to square one, I guess. The "L4" could be some bottling plant line number.

6 years ago 0

@systemdown
systemdown replied

@rigmorole Okay cheers, well that label / bottle came in from 2007 onwards. So the youngest you're looking at is 2007. It could also be 2014! I think if there were another code INSIDE the box somewhere, it might contain the bottling date.

6 years ago 0

@systemdown
systemdown replied

My guess: Bottled 199th day of 2010, batch "R".

6 years ago 0

@systemdown
systemdown replied

No wait, I'm wrong. Check this out: whiskywhiskywhisky.com/forum/viewtopic.php/…

Any chance your "R" is infact a "K"? If so, the year would be 2011, bottled 28th May at 12:34. L4 is the line number.

The "L0199" part is the batch code which doesn't contain any kind of date / year info. The letter part is the year. B = 2002 and just extrapolate from there.

6 years ago 0

Rigmorole replied

The "R" looks like it could be a K and an R stamped in the same spot. It's definitely an "R" but there could be a "K" stamped over top of it. That particular letter is much darker and blotchier than the rest. I looked at the other bottles in the store (about six or seen others) and they all had the same code.

6 years ago 0

Rigmorole replied

Thanks for the link, @systemdown! According to your source, the bottle I own may have a misprint. "R" is not in the correct sequence. Drat! I emailed Highland Park. I will wait and see if anyone there responds.

According to your source:

L0146 refers to a vatting code used by the lab B is the year 2002 (C = 2003, D = 2004, E = 2005, F = 2006*) L11 refers to the bottling line 12:03 = 12th day of 3rd month 10:16 = time

The code convention may have changed because I just bought an 18yo with code L0008P L4 11:01 15:55. Following the same logic would imply 2016 bottling year (P).

  • my inquiry was based on "F" code (L0143F L8 01:03 22:24) which I was told was bottled @22:24, March 1, 2006, on line 8. Given Tim confirmed B=2002, I guessed on the other years.

6 years ago 0

Rigmorole replied

No sign of any date stamp in the inside or outside of the box

6 years ago 0

@systemdown
systemdown replied

@rigmorole Bugger about the box not helping in any way. Good pick up on the fellow who bought a HP 18yo with a "P" code - this might help after all, despite an obvious code change.

"R" is only removed from "P" by the letter "Q", in sequence. If one letter still pertains to one year, and "P" is 2011 (seems likely - that guy purchased in May 2011 and by the code, looks like bottled January) - then we might assume that "R" is the year 2013.

Seems pretty likely if you walked into a store and they had several there. That puts the bottle date as 28th May 2013. What do you think?

6 years ago 0

@whiskyed
whiskyed replied

@systemdown Q is some time skipped because of it's likeness to zero or O so it could be 2012

6 years ago 0

@systemdown
systemdown replied

@whiskyed Good point! I like it. This also brings into question other letters such as "I" and "O" (could be mistaken for one or zero, respectively). I await @rigmorole's response after hearing back from the distillery. Only one more letter would need to be dropped (for whatever reason) and the letter per year system, starting with B = 2002 actually works out.

6 years ago 0

Rigmorole replied

As soon as I hear back I will post. Thanks!!

6 years ago 0

Rigmorole replied

Returned the HP 18 for store credit and purchased a 25 YO instead. I also picked up an Ardbeg Alligator for $47 on store clearance. All in all, it's been a good day! I used to absolutely adore the HP18 but these days, it's hit and miss. The main problem that I have with the 18 is its nose. Also, it's now necessary to leave the 18 in your glass for at least 30 minutes to get the right flavor. "Aging" a bottle with some air also works. For this, you must pour half out of a full bottle, put it in another bottle and oxygenate the two for a while before pouring it back in. This also works. I have not tasted the 25 before. I'm excited. I've heard it's a complex dram when compared with the (old, early flat bottle) 18. I've also heard the old 18 was smoother.

6 years ago 0

Rigmorole replied

I will still post my findings here when I hear back from HP about the bottling code.

6 years ago 0

Rigmorole replied

Got word back from Remy: The lot code indicates this bottle was produced on line 4 on May 28th 2013.

[Here is the code again for reference: L0199R L4 28/05 12:34 ]

6 years ago 1Who liked this?

@systemdown
systemdown replied

Excellent, glad you were able to find out. Also the whisky "geek" in me has been satisfied, so thanks! Apparently some distillers don't part with this information when requested.

There needs to be a database of this info somewhere..

6 years ago 0

@whiskyed
whiskyed replied

@rigmorole Here's the code from my Highland Park 18 purchased Aug 2012. L0457M L4 14:07 22:29
So I have the date at July 14 but the year M ?? any guesses??

6 years ago 0

@systemdown
systemdown replied

@whiskyed If it's the same format as Macallan code (also Edrington group) from the thread that @Onlyhalfmad posted (first reply to OP) then "M" could be 2011?

6 years ago 0

@whiskyed
whiskyed replied

@systemdown Thanks , makes sense that they would use the same system. A data base would be nice but batch variation doesn't seem a big issue with Highland Park

6 years ago 0

Rigmorole replied

@whiskyed To apply the same logic as my bottling code, and skipping "Q", I would hazard to say you have the following: July 14, 2009

6 years ago 0

Rigmorole replied

@whiskyed It's old enough to be worth savoring. I suspect it's a very nice bottle, indeed

6 years ago 0

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