The Highland Park 12 has been receiving high marks for about as long as there have been people to drink it. Moreover, this whisky hits that nice balance of good taste, regular availability and relative affordability. They are also a 21st century distillery, with a website full of short videos on their products, history, and the joy of malted exploration.
Distillery: Highland Park
Age: 12 yr.
Maturation: Sherry casks
Nose: Floral, lemon, heather, lavender, creamed honey, sawdust
Palate: Orange blossom honey, citrus, syrup, heather, grassy, caramel
Finish: Floral, honey, toast, wet straw
Comments: A little water recommended to bring out the floral and citrus tones.
Adam – This Scotch gets a lot of attention, and I can see why. It’s very pleasant on the nose without any kind of burn on the palate. It feels very balanced, without going too far in any one direction. Taking an initial sip, there is a definite sense of syrup. A very short finish, unfortunately. For the price, it is a very good drink yet I would not rank it among my favorites perhaps because no one aspect of it is distinctive. This is one to share with friends who enjoy good whisky, to show them you’ve advanced beyond some Glenfiddich 10 year, as well as being highly accessible. No one who enjoys Scotch will turn this down.
Kate – What Fat Tire is to beer connoisseurs, Highland Park is to Scotch connoisseurs. It’s not offensive. It’s lovely for any time of the year.
Meghan – The nose has a beautiful lavender-lemon scone aspect. The hint of buttery sugar on the nose matures into a deep caramel in the palate. HP 12 has very little brininess to it that prevents a salted caramel aspect, which I appreciate. Its flora flows throughout with an enjoyable maturation of depth through each stage. The slight downside is a mild potpourri taste in the finish – however the toasted notes take a deep enough hold to prevent you from feeling like you’ve chewed on your grandmother’s decorative soaps.
Henry – I can’t say enough good things about this one, which is on my short list for Best Scotch For the Price. Highland Park 12 is also an excellent introduction to Highland whiskies – balance and harmony between sweetness and smoke, smoothness and warmth. It embodies the Orkneys like a rare Ardbeg embodies the spirit of Islay. No whisky collection is complete without it, and it makes the perfect gift when introducing a good friend to the world of Scotch. Delicious, reasonably priced, and educational. What a treat!