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.
Member Reviews and Ratings of Highland Park 12 Year Old
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.