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Highland Park Hjarta 12 Year Old

Average score from 4 reviews and 10 ratings 88

Highland Park Hjarta 12 Year Old

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Highland Park Hjarta 12 Year Old

The word Hjärta is Norwegian for heart. As you are probably aware, the Orcadians have more in common with the Norwegians than with the Scots. They are more Vikings than men of the kilt. This bottling was launched in 2009 to celebrate the reopening of the visitor center. The bottles were for sale only at the distillery and in certain Scandinavian shops (thank you for proving my point). It is no more or less than the standard 12 Year Old, but at cask strength and with 20% from very active first fill sherrycasks, as the dark color shows.

The nose is round and sweet, very creamy like butter, on heather, orangettes, honey, vanilla, discrete smoke and sugared cappuccino. There is also a hint of sulphur, but this is (strange as it may sound) an added value here. The influence of the first fill sherry cask is unmistakable. The ABV made me wary for an alcohol bomb, but I should not have worried. It is very accessible and inviting. Adding some water makes it sweeter still with more lime.

On the palate, however, the ABV makes itself be known. Wow! Hoo-haa! Wonderfully mouthcoating and powerful on the attack. Creamy like coffee licqueur, a whole rack of herbs, honey, lemon, coconut and strawberry jam. Yep, that is right. And a good helping of the sweet Orkney peat. It takes water very well, that brings out dried fruits.

The finish is long on liquorice and herbs.

What a great HP, without a doubt one of the better recent releases. Sold initially for around 100 EUR. But no longer available at that price. Rather triple that. Oh, well.

@ markjedi1 - Solid review, quite enjoyable!


Highland Park, please put an affordable cask strength whisky in your core expressions. How dare you tease me with this limited bottling!

Nose: Very fruity, cherries, pineapple, green apple, cheesecake, oak. Lusciously sweet.

Palate: Initially creamy caramel. Then the rich fruits come forward with the caramel playing the supportive role, almost coating the fruits. A bit of smoke wanders throughout. Robust flavors.

Finish: The unique Orkney peat comes forward, but a bit more restrained than other HP's. A faint hint of char. At the very end, there's any extremely subtle note of pineapple that the smoke almost covers up. Wish it were a bit longer, but interesting nonetheless.

As an American, I feel that I am very fortunate to own a bottle of this rare whisky. Additionally, as an American, a part of me almost wishes that I didn't like this as much as I did because I'll probably never get another bottle. I will savor every drop.


have to agree. lovely dram.


Nose: This is the 12 year old version on Steroids. Cask Strength, much more sherried. Dried fruits on the nose, spice and Caramelised sugar.

Palate: Big sweet barley and vanilla, with peat smoke. Massive.

Finish: The finish here was indeed disappointing. Quite short, for such a masculine, sweet nose and palate. too bad.

Bottom line :

Very different than the 12 year old version. I’m happy i managed to put my hands on this version (0nly 3,900 bottles ever made), and sold only on the HP site. A good addition if you have the basic HP and you dig HP (like Moi).

This has been on my wish list for a long time! Indeed I believe HP should ship some to Sicily, there are Normans cast away on the isle since the Middle Ages! :) I will complain with them!

hehe ;) it's really a good one. you can visit the UK and order there....


Ah, the Hjarta - a 12yr Cask Strength Highland Park. Available only through the distillery's website, the distillery & in nordic countries. Which of coarse leaves the rest of the world out (unless you have sources...).

I've been lusting after this for some time and now it is in my possession (Mmmmwwwaaa-ha-ha-ha-ha!).

Let's cut to the chase and go to my thoughts on it, shall we? Yes, we shall:

Color - old pirates gold

Nose - for 58.1%abv, no where near as prickly as I had expected. I could jam my nose in there 'til my "Hjartas" content (or I run out of oxygen). Licorice, fried pineapple slices, heather, smoke and moldy celery. A bit salty and a wee more grassy

Palate - A bit more hot now, spicey, some sherry notes, buttered toast with honey & jam (raspberry), pineapple again and wisps of smoke, peat & figgy stuffs - all in all, a very luscious dram (reminds me of the succulency of the 18yr)

Finish - long and a bit burny (in a good way), the sherry comes back up, smoke.

Rumor has it that a 12yr CS may be on the way as a standard expression for Highland Park. If the Hjarta is any indication as to what we can expect - I'll be waiting with baited breath!!

The 18yr is still king in my book but this is uber nice!

Thanks to the fine gent who helped me get a bottle!!

oy vey.the hjarta. (Lev) indeed a very hard dram to come by... any HP is awesome , but this one is Cask strenth and ideal for winter (ok, i know israeli winter is summer in some countries) but hey, it's good.

the nose on the 18 is much nicer, that's right. but the palate here, with the extra OOMPH of the CS, does the job. and the case josh, u forgot to say that it comes in a friggin' coffin. like dracula... ;)

all in all i love it. now, let's wait for the 12 CS, or the Earl magnus. i know Jeff from the scotchhobbyist is saving for that one...

Slainte, and "lechaim" as we say in hebrew.

Unfortunately, I rec'd on the bottle - did not get the case. Not too upset - the liquid, and my access to it, is the most important part!

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