Dave hasn’t reviewed any Highland Park yet?! You don’t say?
Well, were gonna correct that. Majorly. I’m going to review them all. From the 12 year old, right up to the 40 year old with one or two in between.
I’ve had 2 bottles of the 12, one of the 18 and the rest are from samples I bought, either from Master of Malt or a miniature pack they do.
First up we’ll do the 12-18.
Nose: Heather, honey, creamy toffee, vanilla, subtle heathery peat, raisins and cream, big malty note, nuts and toffee apples, chocolate orange, orange marmalade, butterscotch.
Taste: Honey, malt, heather, heathery peat, wood fire, toffee, barley, bit of coffee, orange marmalade.
Finish: Medium length. Drying with tannins and coffee.
Great value for money @ £25.
Highland Park 15 40%
Nose: Really fruity, juicy, green grape, kiwi, under ripe mango, fruit salad, some dry oak. A tiny bit of smoke if you get behind the fruit.
Taste: Light and fresh. Clean, juicy fruit, green grape, kiwi and the under ripe mango, then more drying with the oak coming in. Waxy and slightly oily.
Finish: Short/Medium length. Dry with the oak, a tiny bit of chocolate.
Seems like a refill Bourbon one. Nice and natural.
Highland Park 18 43%
Colour: Dark Gold
Nose: Complex. Nut- Walnut, damp wood, dunnage warehouse, wood polish, dark chocolate, strong coffee, leather, toffee, fudge and caramel. Coastal- Sea air and spray, small wisps of smoke- Campfire on the beach. Sweetness starts to appear- Lots of barley sugar, marzipan, almond, thick cream, vanilla, sweet syrupy honey, brown sugar, stewed fruit- Apple, apple pie, cherry, cocktail cherry, juicy orange and roasted chestnut.
After time- Ah, here comes the smoke. A heathery, woody, outdoorsy smoke.
Water: More sherried and sweet, more cocktail cherry, raisins soaked in apple brandy, driftwood.
Taste: Creamy arrival, then gradually coming back with spices and fruit. Sherried stewed fruit- Cherry, raisin, date, thick honey, malt, leather, toffee, building spice- Nutmeg and some heather smoke. Developing drying coffee, more malt, ash, tannins, sea salt, bitter orange and lime peel, dark chocolate. The oak is part of the drying development and carries it through really well.
Water: Less creamy arrival with more oak and tannins, toffee coffee, maybe more sweet oak, more heather. After time the chocolate and malt really take over.
Finish: Medium/Long length. Drying, lots of coffee with hints of smoke and a final sea salt hit!
A great whisky, takes time to open up and you are really rewarded if you keep this in your mouth for a full 18 seconds.
Thanks for reading! Next up is some much older HP for my 300th Scotch review!!
Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as a Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, I have never accepted free samples from anyone in the whisky industry, but have bought bottles or samples with my money, bringing a different set of biases. Also, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.
Network Average: 74.4
Best Score: 92
Worst Score: 44
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
75-79 Very Good