Highland Park 12 Years (1998) Review

Country: Scotland

Brand: Highland Park 1998 Travel Retail Bottling
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Region: Highland (Orkney)
Age: 12 Years
Alcohol: 40%

Colour: Bright Gold

Nose: Be sure to let your dram open up for at least 20 minutes in order to let the wafts of alcohol escape. First impression on the nose is Malt and Peat with a puff of Smoke in the background. After a while I get Caramel, Leather, Honey, Lemon – and Orange Peel and Dried Apricot. A faint presence of Ashes or maybe Tobacco. Not entirely sure here. I found the nose interesting but a bit on the heavy side. Not really elegant. 

Taste: Mouth coating. Honey, Cocoa, Light Spices (Ginger) and Nuts.

Finish: Not overly long. Dry. Spices and Oak. A hint of Smoke.

Rating: 84 

Nose: 22 – Taste: 21 - Finish: 20 - Overall: 21

General Remarks: This whisky is a special bottling, at first exclusively for the Global Travel Retail aka Tax Free Shop. It matured for 12 years in American Oak casks. However, it’s not the same whisky as the regular 12 Year Expression. As you might remember, Highland Park is the Most Northern Scottish Distillery on the Orkney Isles. It was founded in 1798.

I added half a teaspoon of water and that brought more Peat to the nose. I advise you to nose it both neat and with a bit of water. Taste-wise I prefer it without water.

Drinking Experience Neat:  Good

Drinking Experience on the Rocks: Very Good

Conclusion:  Certainly not a bad Single Malt but I had come to expect more from a Highland Park. The nose is interesting but not spectacular. But I won’t lose any sleep tonight marvelling about the taste and the finish! I suppose that my next Highland Park needs to be either the 15 or the 18 Years!

Jan van den Ende                                                              December 9, 2011

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