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Highland Park Loyalty of the Wolf 14 yo

Thin and uninsteresting

5 679

@galgReview by @galg

8th Oct 2018


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

After the quite excellent 18-year-old (Viking Pride – TR edition, reviewed on the blog just last week) we come to review the younger sibling, which is called ‘Loyalty of the Wold’, in line with the rest of pseudo-viking naming scheme whiskies from HP (Some people are quite tired of it, and I have to agree, it’s a bit too much, they’ve played the Orcadian-Viking cards a bit too much). This one’s a combination of American oak sherry casks and bourbon barrels, vatted an bottled at 42,3% (another uncommon percentage which I am told is selected by the master distiller for best results).

Nose: Quite nice and sweet, mellow. Wood spices, some oak, grassy at times, with hints of fruitcake , vanilla and some heavier custard as well. There’s also a peppery / gingery tang to it, with some baked apples , sweet dough and very light hints of smoke and ripe orange. I was searching for the honeyed heather notes, but there aren’t any of those signature HP notes. oh well.

Palate: Certainly deeper with quite some smoke and char on first sip, with quite a lot of ash. Oranges, and wood spices (mainly cinnamon and nutmeg), and dried fruit notes, cocoa and chocolate towards the end.

Finish: Smoke, wood, dry, ash.

In Short: Ok, this isn’t the best Highland Park TR edition ever, but it’s a very drinkable whisky. It feels quite thin, with a gentler nose and quite an ashy smoky palate, that offers mostly that. I would expect more from a 14-year-old HP after all.

Related Highland Park reviews


DaveM commented

I wonder what is happening with Highland Park these days. Once their whiskies were held in high regard for the most part. Now it seems they are cutting corners and bringing out these Viking expressions (which are comical). Do they not have enough whisky on hand to meet demand?

5 years ago 1Who liked this?

RikS commented

@DaveM I suppose it's just a combination between - Whisky renaissance + too many Viking series on TV + marketing dept. with free hands... Presume that if they release them, it's because less discerning drammers than we have here on Connsr buy them... Whilst I don't like the marketing stuff, I don't care as long as they keep up the quality of their core expressions. But, one cannot but fear that this is leading down a path of style over substance (literally, in this case).

5 years ago 3Who liked this?

DaveM commented

I am afraid that HP is heading down the Dalmore road. They have an attractive bottle but little else.

5 years ago 3Who liked this?

RianC commented

@DaveM @RikS - I hear the distant sounds of howling wolves, the sharpening of axes and rousing battle cries heading in your directions stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye

5 years ago 0

Wierdo commented

'Loyalty of the wolf' FFS! Highland Park really are disappearing up their own arses aren't they!

I look forward to the release of 'Vahalla sunrise' 'Odin's arse crack' and 'Pigtails are a good look for a man'

5 years ago 5Who liked this?

RianC commented

@Wierdo - ha ha! What about good old 'Rape and Pillage 18 year old'? Which, on reflection, could be considered too close to the bone . . .

5 years ago 3Who liked this?

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