Highland Park 12 is made on the island of Orkney using whisky aged for at least 12 years in ex-Oloroso sherry casks and ex-Bourbon casks. From multiple sources online it seems like the ratio of those casks is 9:1 meaning that it’s about 10% bourbon casks in each batch. There is no official word from the distillery so consider the info with that caveat.
Highland Park 12 Info
Region: Islands, Scotland
Distiller: Highland Park
Mashbill: 100% malted barley
Cask: ex-Bourbon & ex-Sherry
Age: 12 years
Highland Park 12 Review
Toffee, char, dried dark fruit, chocolate licorice, malt, Nutella, oranges and a touch of smoke. It’s a pleasant nose, but I have to be honest… it’s not what the 12 used to be. If you’ve ever had the old slope shoulder or not-very-old round bottle you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Malt, cocoa and dried dark fruit lead the way followed by notes of peat, orchard fruit, char, apricots, some inky sherry-like sweetness and grilled fruit. I feel the same way about the palate as I do the nose.
Long and fruity punctuated by notes of char, malt, smoke and wood.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Decent balance, medium body and a rich heavy feel.
Highland Park 12 is a fine dram, but I have to say that it’s noticably changed over the years, but there’s no use crying over dusty whisky because it’s gone and this is what it is now and… it’s not bad. It’s a decent single malt with a lot to offer and it comes in at the upper end of the average price for a 12yr old Scotch these days. It works well in cocktails and the dark heavy nose and palate make for a pleasant sipper.
All-in-all it is a decent whisky and has been one of my favorites on and off over the last few years. I’ll get a bottle, get obsessed, drink only it till it’s gone then move on until I get the craving again and repeat the process. It’s a weird cycle that happens with Highland Park 12 (and a couple other bottles) yet it’s not one of my favorite whiskies. It’s good for sure, and I love it while I have it, but as soon as I’m done I move on. It’s not one I HAVE to keep in the house, but one I enjoy thoroughly when it is.
*Disclosure: This HIghland Park 12 was graciously sent to me by the company for the purposes of this review. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.
Highland Park 12 Review - Score Breakdown
- Nose - 87
- Palate - 86
- Finish - 85
- Balance, Body & Feel - 87
Highland Park 12 is on the upper end of average for 12 yr whisky these days and as such it’s not a bad buy.