Sunday, 27 January 2013

Highland Park 12 Year Old Whisky

Time for a brief hiatus from wine. Having written some fairly lengthy posts about wine, it's time for a brief chat about whisky, inspired by re-reading and writing up my notes about Ataraxia Chardonnay 2009.

Funnily enough, Highland Park 12 was my first ever review of an alcoholic drink. I did it on the thoroughly excellent, which is a real haven for whisky drinkers and reviewers and well worth a visit. 

As this was my first review, structure is a little haywire, but here it is: 

This is a gorgeous malt - it's a perfectly balanced study in the whisky-producing regions of Scotland. Whilst I seem to have found the nose rather lighter than my fellow reviewers, this whisky is absolutely bursting with flavour!
From the moment I sipped it there was a blast of honey rushing through my mouth with a perfect little dash of firey peat coming through afterwards to 'crisp off' the taste. As it moves on there's a touch of salt creeping in - I'm instantly reminded of the heather-covered hills of the Shetlands and the ever-present menace of the high seas. Wow. Whisky-inspired nostalgia!
Others have criticised the finish as brief: I must have had a fantastic bottle as my experience is completely the opposite. The distinctive honey-salt taste lingers at the back of my mouth for some time and fades gently away in a perfectly charming way.
HP12 is, to me, like a masterful piece of furniture - everything has smooth, rounded edges and the flavours are perfectly balanced and married together with consummate style. There's a feeling of 'shininess' that's present from the very first sniff and sip. The honey-salt-peat combination is absolutely perfect. I've been looking for a premium(ish) bottle to buy and if HP 12 is this good, the 18 is coming up next!
I always read these reviews before buying a bottle to see if I think it'll suit my palate, so I thought I'd quickly list a couple of other bottles I'd associate this with. In short, I'd put it as a mix between Bowmore Legend (incidentally I prefer Legend to 12) and Dalwhinnie 15. It's like the best of both worlds. Glorious! 
Points: A slightly inflated 90, due to the excellent pricing of the whisky (£24-30).

  • Nose20
  • Taste23
  • Finish22
  • Balance: 25

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