Whisky Review – Highland Park 12 year old

Highland Park 12 year old
‘Natural colour’
40% ABV
£29.95 available from MasterOfMalt

About time I reviewed some Highland Park expressions. So here we go, starting at the entry level expression available pretty much everywhere. This review coming from a brand new, freshly opened bottle (bought mid 2014). I found that this bottle needed some time to settle down after being opened initially, it’s definitely one not to take on first impressions.

Nose.

A really nice, complex, spicy nose. Breathtaking in intensity. We have lovely smouldering twiggy bonfire smoke. Aromatic pepper and sweet cinnamon spices. Nicely fruity in the form of raisin, apples, a touch of orange. There are elements of Christmas spices which really shows off the sherry maturation. Rounding this off with some heather and honey notes.
It’s a very sniffable nose, so sniffable I did Ashamedly get my nose a little wet where it got an unexpected dip.

Palate.

A peppery, spicy arrival, calming to some sweet chewy fruits and honey. Apple, orange skin, grapefruit pith, toffee and some earthy, medicinal peat smoke. Further into the development we get some stewed tea and oaky tannins. Nicely complex, very easy to sip and relish.

Finish.

The finish retains spices and extinguished bonfire smoke, some ash. A little effervescence and some apples and orange tang.

Adding water.

Tiny drop added as I think this is drinkable enough at 40%. The nose is now all fruit and floral with very little punch from the undiluted version. The palate reflects this, loosing the spiciness and now has a little more defined fruit, with some lemon citrus coming in, but the smokiness is reduced. The finish is weakened a great deal. Hmmmm, I would say absolutely avoid water, but if you want en experiment it’s nice to see the variations in the palate.

Conclusion.

This is a great, consistent quality single malt, that I use as my go to whisky at bars. Easy drinking, suitably complex at the same time as being a straight easy session whisky. It’s suitable for many moods and many occasions. I can’t help but wish there could be a 46% NCF release just for the fans! 🙂

My own bottle

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