I will admit to being wary about trying Highland Park. Once upon a time the Highland Park 18 year was a favourite and regularly found in my whisky cabinet. However first the prices shot up, then it simply could not be found readily. What I could afford from the vintage series was a disappointment, the last of which kicked around in my cabinet was the Highland Park 1998.
Since then, I’ve watched as a whole series of Viking theme related NAS prance around and have been… well… reluctant… Breaking my Highland Park drought only with a mini of MacPhail’s Orkney 8 year, until this Highland Park 12 year arrived as part of our monsoon malts evening…
Highland Park 12 year 40%
- Nose – Sweet water, honey, fruits, cashew feni, faint esters, an almost chemically fruity, then started to open up to reveal fragrant heather, light spice and a puff of smoke
- Palate – Light on the body, warm smoke. If you hold in your mouth for some time reveals sexy peppers, chocolate and more, honey, fruits and mildly malty
- Finish – Bitter, spice, smoke… long finish
- Water – Though sounds like a contradiction, a few drops improved the body and mouth feel, tames the spice, reveals sweet coffee
It honestly has been many years since I sipped a Highland Park 12 year, with my earlier impression of a decent dram but the 18 year? Oh the 18 year! That was a beaut!
And yet, as I continued to sip the 12 year, could find shades of those memories of the early favourite 18 year. Which was part of that tipping point from “Yeah, sure, I like whisky” to “Hmm… let me take some time to really pay attention to the different elements.”
So the verdict on the Highland Park 12 year? It is definitely a decent dram and worth a revisit.
Here’s what they have to say about it:
The heart and soul of Highland Park, VIKING HONOUR is a perfect harmony of aromatic smoky peat, sweet heather honey and rich fruit cake.
- Flavours – Heather honey | Rich fruitcake | Winter spices | Seville oranges | Aromatic smoky peat
- Try with – Haunch of venison, chocolate ginger biscuits, soft cheeses such as French Brie and even Japanese sushi and wasabi (yes, really!)
Other whiskies sampled in our Mumbai monsoon malts evening included:
- Eddu Silver 40%
- R & B Distillers – Borders Single Grain 51.7% & Raasay “While We Wait” 46%
- The Exceptional – Blended Grain Scotch Whisky 43% & Blend Small Batch Scotch Whisky 43%
- Finlaggan Cask Strength 58%
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