Highland Park ‘Harald’

Bought: World Duty Free, 31st March 2015

74.5/100 – Whisky Bible 2015
81.6/100 – Whiskybase (average from 69 member votes)
83/100 – Malt Maniacs (average from 4 Maniac ratings)

Yes, I know, I’m an idiot. But, when you’re a fan of Highland Park, you sometimes have to let your heart rule your head. If, like me, the Whisky Bible is your first reference point to see how good a whisky is, you’d never buy the ‘Harald’. 74.5/100 means “usually drinkable but don’t expect the earth to move” which might not sound too damning until you combine it with the Harald being £70. Unlike the cheaper Svein and Einar, it’s not even 100cl!

Jim Murray, author of the Whisky Bible, says of the Harald “Warrior Harald has been wounded by sulphur. Fatally”. Aaah, the penny drops! As I’ve noticed before, Jim Murray has a very high sensitivity to sulphur. So high in fact that it’s like a human being able to hear a dog whistle. I decided to hunt high and low on the internet for other Harald reviews to see if anyone else mentioned “sulphur”. Guess what? Not a single one.

So, please take the Whisky Bible rating with a pinch of salt, or sulphur if you prefer. The Malt Maniacs have the Warrior Series scores as – Harald (83/100), Einar (82/100) and Svein (81/100) which is exactly how they’re priced from highest to lowest. It’s a little bit different on Whiskybase but the Harald still comes out on top with 81.6/100, Svein is second with 81.45/100 and Einar rolling in third with 80.8/100. The Whisky Bible has them in reverse with Einar scoring 90.5/100, Svein gets 87/100 and then the lowly 74.5/100 for Harald.

This is one of the reasons why my blog is a casual, almost a personal record of my collection, rather than my thoughts about the taste of whisky. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about reviews but, I find that they’re so personal; it’s almost pointless reading someone’s opinion. Nevertheless, people still find them interesting, so I’ll continue to include them. Heck, I find them interesting! I enjoy watching Masterchef and hear them describe meals I’ll never, ever taste. At least with most whiskies, there’s always a chance of finding a sip of the bottle you’re reading about.

Highland Park Harald NAS 70cl

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