Booze Review

Whisky Review – Highland Park 12


Remember that bottle of Laphroiag 18 that I told you about last week? The one that I purchased with the cash that I received for Father’s Day? What I neglected to tell you was that I also picked up a bottle of Highland Park 12 during this particular whisky run. Here is what Highland Park has to say about their 12 year old expression:

‘The first proprietary bottling of Highland Park single malt Scotch whisky was as a 12 year old in 1979. It remains the core expression of the Highland Park range and is a smooth, balanced single malt, with a rich full flavour and a gentle smokey finish.”

And now for my review…

  • Appearance: Golden honey color. After tilting the glass to coat the inner walls with whisky, slow moving legs form and creep down the sides.
  • Aroma: Subtle sweetness prevails, i.e. butterscotch and caramel. Gentle smokiness in the background. Hints of licorice. Without water, the alcohol vapors are quite strong. Adding water brings out a bit of fruitiness.
  • Taste: Smooth and silky mouthfeel. Starts slightly sweet with all of the flavors hitting the middle and sides of your tongue. At mid-palate, some spiciness starts to kick in. Ends with a slightly smoky medium finish that warms your entire mouth. Adding a bit of water mellows the smoke and brings some herbal elements to the finish.
  • ABV: 43%

Subtle and extremely well balanced is the only way to describe this whisky. Nothing dominates. You get bits of sweetness, hints of smoke, and some slowly building spiciness throughout the dram. The biggest difference between the Highland Park 12 and the Highland Park 18 is how the alcohol presents itself. Although the alcohol burn is much more prevalent in the 12 year old expression, it’s far from rough. This is a very smooth and drinkable Single Malt Whisky, and when you factor in the fact that I purchased this whisky in Pennsylvania for around $36, it’s also an exceptional value. I really like this whisky, and as you can see from the picture above (i.e. how much is left in the bottle), it isn’t going to be around for very long.

9 replies »

  1. G-Lo was kind enough to share his presents on a Sippin’ Saturday and I found the Highland Park 12 to be a little sweet, a little spicy and very smoooth; just a really good whisky.

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  2. thanks for taking the time to post this – i like how you consistently present the company’s notes in addition to your own. i especially appreciate reading your thoughts on how the 12yr compares to the 18yr old. another great review!

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    • Thanks WW! Inform and entertain. That’s my goal. 🙂

      Both Highland Park expressions are excellent. Though I really like the Islay whiskies, Highland Park is quickly moving up the list of whiskies that I would (a) recommend to a friend and (b) buy again for myself.

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    • Way to embrace the Yo in Yossi!

      And thanks for the kind words. That Highland Park stuff is REALLY growing on me. Is it possible for a whisky to be too drinkable? From a health perspective I mean. Heh

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  3. is hp12 for me.

    can’t handle achole burn or reek at moment.
    glenlivet 12 oak is too much + too too dry/firm like old pulteny

    thinking getting walker green or bushmills blackbush.
    ballintine 17 too far away store
    i
    is hp like teachers (creme salt, smoke, soft crisp toffee chew)

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