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Highland Park Dark Origins

Dark and Very Dirty

1 1167

@VictorReview by @Victor

21st May 2015


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Highland Park Dark Origins is 'Double first fill sherry cask' matured. There is No Age Statement. The reviewed bottle has been open for 2 months

Nose: can you say 'Sulphur'? The sulphur is intense and dominates the nose from sniff # 1. Sure, there's sherry there too, and some malt, but if you can smell sulphur, you will smell it here in spades. This is no little sulphur, and really gives the whisky a big hit

Taste: yes, the sulphur also dominates the palate. I cannot get past it

Finish: more of the same...sulphur, sulphur, and more sulphur

Balance: there is only one obvious element here, so there is really nothing to balance. If you are highly sulphur insensitive you may like Dark Origins. Otherwise Highland Park Dark Origins is a classic example of a completely sulphur-dominated malt whisky. I usually like Highland Park whisky, but I have a hard time drinking Highland Park Dark Origins

Adding water doesn't change things much

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Robert99 commented

@Victor I'm very sorry to ear that. It is always a deception when you get a bad bottle. I think there must be a few casks with sulphur but I doubt we can say that Dark Origins has sulphur as part of its profile. At least I hope so, since I bought two bottles. I tasted it before I purchased it and it was very good. Viewing all the mixed reviews, there is probably more than one batch on the market or there was some bad casks. In any case, it is good that you raise a flag and I hope you'll get the opportunity to taste an HP Dark Origins without sulphur soon.

4 years ago 0

Alexsweden commented

Sad to hear it. I've had the dark origins and I liked it, must have been a good batch!

4 years ago 0

Alexsweden commented

Sad to hear it. I've had the dark origins and I liked it, must have been a good batch!

4 years ago 0

hunggar commented

Here's hoping your next bottle won't be so disappointing, if you dare touch the stuff again.

4 years ago 0

Benancio commented

@Victor. I have had varying degrees of sulfur in Sherried Scotches over the last couple of years. It's come to a point that I'm beginning to loose my taste for Sherried Scotch. It's a shame. I use to be a big fan of heavily Sherried expressions. I find the lighter Sherried versions have less sulfur. It's really too bad.

4 years ago 0

FMichael commented

Victor - have you considered trying to return it?

I purchased a bottle of Auchentoshan Three Wood, and I was unimpressed to say the least.

The liquor dept mgt agreed to give me a in-store credit, and I quickly used it for a bottle of Balvenie 15 yr Single Barrel.

4 years ago 0

Victor commented

@FMichael, I appreciate your concern for me. In this case the bottle was bought by my sister. She likes the whisky fine, so everything is OK. Big Sis doesn't do descriptors in her appreciation of her enormous spirits collection. Either she likes it or she doesn't.

I did quickly notice the sulphur in Dark Origins when this bottle was first opened, but two months of air exposure just accentuated the sulphur a great deal more. I would have rated this bottle 5 or 10 points higher based strictly on Dark Origins on the day the bottle was opened.

4 years ago 0

Nozinan commented

@Benancio, if you like sherry but are put off by the sulfur, Amrut Intermedate Sherry is the one for you as there is no sulfur candling in between pouring our the sherry and pouring in the spirit.

4 years ago 0

Pierre_W commented

@Victor, interesting how certain flavours can gain in intensity after the bottle has been open for a while. The same happened to me with a 30yo Karuizawa whose balsamic vinegar flavours struck me the first time I opened it (they were over-prominent, really). Now that the bottle is only half full the balsamic vinegar is almost unbearable. Happy to share a sample, btw.

4 years ago 0

Frost commented

@Victor thank you for the review. I was hoping that HP would offer something nice in the NAS angle. I'm not sure if I will take a chance now.

4 years ago 0

Victor commented

Well, I just posted a review of a second batch of Dark Origins. It has unfortunately been somehow filed under Highland Park 12 YO and lost in '404 Error' land. Hopefully this will be worked out, and it will be available to view soon.

Quick summary of second review: still sulphured, but much less so, allowing the flavours of wine and malt to come through. The whisky is damaged, but not, like this first bottle, ruined. Total score of second bottle: 80 points.

4 years ago 0

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