An Incredible Entry Level Whisky
Reviewed by John Fegan on
The Highland Park 12 is one of the most interesting entry levels whiskies, with a nose to rival the Redbreast, available in most supermarkets and found in a lot of pubs it’s a singularly popular whisky for good reason, it’s surprisingly sophisticated yet very accessible and supremely affordable.
Aroma: Sweet tropical fruit with hints of citrus and an subtle smokiness
Palate: Sweet to begin with yet sharply tannic with a chewy smoked wood body
Finish: Long spiced smoke with a lingering sweetness
Highland Park 12 Year Old
Produced by Highland Park
Average Price £35
A superb supermarket range Highland whisky (from the not officially recognised Island sub-region) the Highland Park is extremely affordable and outclasses a number of other entry levels in its price range. One of only a handful of readily available whiskies which are not coloured with E150a (caramel colouring) the Highland Park 12 is well worth exploring though it can’t hold a candle to its more polished older siblings.
Highland Park 12 Tastings Notes
Highland Park 12 year old, Our 12 year old came out in the mid ’70s, although is says established in 1798 it was only in the mid-seventies that the 12 year old actually came out.
As you know everything that we do at Highland Park is all about Sherry casks, we only use sherry casks for our whisky and with the 12 year old about 20% of the casks we use are first fill sherry casks and that’s what gives us that wonderful dark golden colour you would expect. Again everything within highland park is completely natural there is no caramel colouring added at any point.
So if we turn the glass 45 degrees and spin it all the way around you’ll see the teas and legs take a good long time to come down the glass. They’re nice and fat which tells you it’s 40% alcohol by volume and there is lots and lots of flavour in their.
What we are looking for at the distillery is really quite simple, we’re looking for a sweet note which we would describe as honey, if you said white chocolate, sugar, caramel or fudge congratulations it’s the same thing, it’s sweet. We’re looking for pineapple which is the fruit but if you said it’s fresh green apple or pear again it’s the same it’s fresh fruit flavoured. The smoke in Highland Park is very difficult to pick up, it is there but you really have to go looking for it, though it is more obvious in the aftertaste.
So chew it and chew it and chew it and swallow. What should happen is this; the front of your tongue should start to tingle, two or three seconds after your mouth should dry a couple of seconds after that you get the gentle smoky aftertaste which is what Highland Park is famous for. So that’s the 12 year old.
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