Situated on the Island of Orkney to the west of Kirkwall, Highland Park is the most northerly distillery in the World. It was founded by Magnus Eunson in the late 18th century, one of many Orcadian smugglers and illicit Whisky producers who rebelled against the heavy excise duties imposed to finance the war with Napoleon. It is said that he used his position as Church Officer to conceal Whisky beneath the church pulpit. The distillery was licensed in 1826 by Robert Borwick, whose son-in-law, the local Exciseman John Robertson, is generally credited with routing out the smugglers. Highland Park is one of the few distilleries to use hard water. Also unusual is the use of traditional floor maltings for germinating the barley, which is then dried over a fire of local aromatic heather peat. This is the source of the heathery smokiness that is characteristic of Highland Park Whiskies.
Highland Park 12 YO was first introduced in 1979. It is a blend of different single malts the youngest of them being at least 12 years old. Since then it remains the core expression of the Highland Park Distillery renowned for its smooth and balanced characteristics that are more than a benchmark to many different Scotch single malts. A timeless dram that is a must have for anyone who considers himself just a bit of a Scotch aficionado.
The Flavor Spiral™ shows the most common flavors that you'll taste in Highland Park 12 Year Old and gives you a chance to have a taste of it before actually tasting it.
We invented Flavor Spiral™ here at Flaviar to get all your senses involved in tasting drinks and, frankly, because we think that classic tasting notes are boring.
Scotch Whisky is almost never aged in new barrels. Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey casks are usually used for maturation, while many times ageing process and flavor finishing is concluded in various wine casks, such as sherry or port.
Smoke is more subtle. Very easy drinking. Not super complex, short to medium finish.
Never tried a Highland Park before and this was on offer. I was expecting something a little smokier but it is quite subtle in every aspect. Hire drinkable but lacks any real depth. Very subtle sherry and fruit, incredibly light. Pretty mediocre all round. Nice but can't say anything more...
Rather simple, light peat and smooth
Easy introduction to peaty whisky, first time didn’t like it, but it grew on me.
Good not great
A solid whisky very similar to Talisker Skye levels of peat, noticeable smokiness. Flavours perhaps are sweeter than Talisker and are definitely longer ending on a slightly bitter taste. Preferred drinking this relatively neat, watering it down too much just destroys it. I probably wouldn’t get it again as I think it tends to be more than Talisker without a discount. The two for me are almost identical.
Hint of smoke
Very smooth with a little bit of peat.
Starting to get peaty! Great pour to start a night. I like this a lot.
Well-balanced sherry and peat. Solid.
Simply the most perfect combination of aromas, swirling flavors, and just the right amount of sting and burn. As a fan of the range of whiskies, from rye to bourbon to scotch, this is my trusty fallback under any desired flavor situation.
Good scotch; strong without being overpowering.
It tastes like band-aids.
It's definitely not my favorite, the sherry cask dominates any peat flavors that should be there. This is NOT a good introduction to peat as some like to say. The flavors are quite mild and it tastes noticeably thin at 40% ABV. The redeeming quality is that there is a nice woody after taste that lingers a bit. Splurge and buy an older HP if you have the chance, I'm going to use this one for cocktails.
This is a really smooth high end tasting Scotch for a nominal price. The level of smokiness is lower for my taste in Scotches, however for the price point, this is a very good purchase.
I've been enjoying the new Viking Honor version. Wonderful barley sweet fruit and a touch of smoke. Priced slightly higher than I would have liked but worth the coin.
My favorite whiskey I've tried thus far.
Very disappointing on a blind taste. May change my review if I go back to it later on but at the moment. Really not impressed.
I don't think I like scotch. I don't like peat.
Smooth, not smokey or peaty. Good quality and should get again.
Too much smoke.
Smooth, good hint of smoke. Buttery with some spice.
smooth without a strong bite.
A little disappointed here. I taste the strong peat, but this also reminds me of a cheap cigar. I will continue to try this until it is gone.
Perfect balance of sweetness and smoke .
Loved the Highland Park, especially before they came out with all their named releases. Will try the 12 again when I can find one.
Smoky and peaty, but not overpowering. Enjoyable flavor palate. A true favorite!
Smoky and smooth, always have to have this on my bar. My everyday kinda scotch.
If you don’t like this , you are not a scotch guy. Just an absolutely pleasure to drink
^^^^ this. A harsh truth. Haha.
My go-to scotch when I want a smooth scotch.
I really love that peaty smoky flavor. I really enjoyed this one! Great chilled while enjoying a sporting event.
A Scotch's Scotch. While nothing exceptional, it's an extremely reliable drink with a lovely little bit of bite and smokiness you might hope for.
Very decent.... have a love/hate feel for it but it really is a nice dram
Love it! It is very bright flavor with a Smokey base. It is very enjoyable
Only just starting to get into the world of Scotch but this one has a soft & "pretty" taste with a slight smokey finish. Flavors lasted in the mouth for about 15-20 seconds before the smokey taste was left.
Smooth with a great flavor
The sweet is nice, but the peat.
hint of smoke
Needs to breathe a little but solid single malt
Very nice sweet notes with a mild smoke quality finish; occasionally a nice leather note
Great w touch of water. sweet sherry front, slight peat, soft finish
Slow opening. Soft spice and Carmel opening. Not lots of length
I’ve had McAllen 18, Glenlivet 18 and many others. For my taste, I put this right there in that grouping at half the price. So far, this is my absolute favorite👍
The perfect combination of peaty and smoke, one of the best iv tried so far.
Similar to Glenfarclas 12, this bottle needed to sit for awhile and oxidate to get rid of a little petrol funk. Once that smoothed out, you truly are left with this beautiful sample of everything malt whiskies have to offer: a little peat, delicious rich sherry fruitiness, robust maltiness, and plenty of other flavors all nicely married.
The perfect mix of smoke/peat against light flavor. My favorite single malt scotch.
A little too smoky for my liking, but a solid scotch nonetheless.
Definitely a more peaty scotch. Pretty smooth, wonderful flavor.
Love this, too, and am very disappointed that they've discontinued it for the Viking Honour. (Which is also damn good whiskey, but why they had to junk this one ...) It's lightly peated, and the peat is a bit sweeter than the Islay peat, so it's not all smoke and bother.
Nice balanced note, lots of vanilla, honey, butterscotch, peat and Smokey.
The new Highland Park has more spice then the old version, which has more sherry notes.
A bit sweet but enjoyable.
Salty with discrete peat, some oak and sherry notes, medium long finish
Very delicate smoke, rich sherry smell and flavor. Long finish raisins and again delicate smoke. Seems older than it is. Great value for money. My top 3 whisky for sure.
Smooth, sweet, just a hint of smoke and a spicy finish. Creamy mouthfeel. A remarkable dram, one of my favorites!
Sweet butterscotch peat, caramel transitions to sweet smoke finish.
Overall decent scotch. Like the smoky sweat taste but can’t hold a candle to some of the Islay scotches I’ve tried.
Take the ferry across the North Atlantic to Stromness, disembark in a mist of rain and sunshine, taste the salt spray on your lips, then dry out next to a log fire at the nearest pub while catching up on your copy of the Orkneyinga Saga. Only then will you truly unlock the mystery and complexities of an island Scotch such as this.
An easy drinking go to
Too sweet for my taste
Solid. Good amount of smoke without being overwhelming
I found it disappointing
Enjoyed the smokey yet smooth flavor.
Too strong of an alcohol finish. Overly sweet
Not my normal whiskey but picked up a bottle on recommendation of a friend. Didn't like it until I paired it with smoked brisket (beef) and then the peat and smoke flavor really shined!
Sweet spicy nose with a hint of smoke, and a blend of spice and honey with some salty notes.
Smiley, sweet whiskey.
A good tasting whiskey and ideal if you are in the middle about a peaty taste as it's not as strong as some. A good middle ground.
Peat, some floral/grassy notes, and brine in the nose. On the palate it's sweet smoky honey. Mouthwatering body and finishes with more smoke like burning leaves. Overall pretty good, but somewhat one dimensional.
On of my favorite affordable single malts.
My favorite Scotch period.
Nice basic whisky with a combination of sweetness and smoke
- not too complex or full
- sweetness honey
- old wood
Very smooth, nose is fantastic, balanced. It lacks some depth and real power and taste. For this money good and a classic malt to have. I prefer this above most € 30 Whisky but it loses to a Old Pulteney 12 even with the bucks extra you have to pay for that one.
Smoky and smooth
Nice blend of a sweeter whisky but with a pleasant smoky undertone. Adding to my bar.
Very nice for around a $54 dollar bottle
Nice and light. Seemed a little smokier the second time I had it, but nowhere near as smokey as an Islay. Might be one for some one looking to for an introduction from a Speyside to the islands
I expected it to be smokier. That's not a bad thing. Maybe I'm just getting used to good scotch now.
Not my personal favorite
Nice one soft tones delicate
Nice smoked and sweet, with a taste of sherry for a boast of flavor.
Different. It's like a cross between a highland and a islay.
Smokey sweet and a bit spicy, not too strong
Nice and spicy with alot of character
A real good all-around experience in a single glass. It's not super complicated, but it can have as much or little character as you're interested in experiencing in any given sitting.
My introduction to Single Malt
Smokey and sweet, excellent.
Beautifully complex. A wonderful journey from the nose through the palate with a bit of peat on the finish. Excellent! On my shelf.
Smokey. Burn Carmel.
Erg lekkere whisky
Tasted a little wood on after awhile. I could smell honey. After adding a little bit of water the taste was more pronounced.
I liked the balance on this one . Soft smoke. Underlying honey and slight saline salty.