Bought: World of Whisky, 1st November 2018
85.67/100 – Whiskybase (average from 3 member votes)
87/100 – Whisky Wise (YouTube review below)
The Whiskybase rating above is for the 35cl bottle, which I have. The 100cl scores over 2 points less with 83.36/100, purely because it has more votes (currently 35). Over 83/100 is still a good score but perhaps not as high as a 14yo from Highland Park (HP) from 10 years ago would score. Why? Because more and more people are having their view of HP tainted by the number of releases the distillery is flooding onto the market.
Like most HP fans I’m a member of the Inner Circle. Never a week goes by without an email from the distillery that talks about another new standard release, or limited release, or special release ‘connected with a celebrity that’s drunk as much HP as David Beckham had drunk Haig before they offered him lots of money to endorse is”.
Rightly or wrongly the over-commercialising of HP is causing increasing criticism of the distillery on Facebook groups and internet forums. And the less you think of a distillery the less you enjoy their whisky, even if the spirit hasn’t changed, such is the influence of emotions on our sense of taste.
HP may not be able to rely on the loyalty of all their fans but at least they’ve got a wolf to fall back on. On the plus side this 14yo from the new 2018 Travel Retail range has an age statement, unlike its predecessors Svein, Einar and Harald. Matured in sherry-seasoned American oak and ex-bourbon casks the distillery classify this dram as “sweet and complex”. Comments online are mostly positive and include “marvellous tipple” and “it’s not a sophisticated dram to ponder too much upon, but a very nice, enjoyable and care free evening sipper”.
Tasting notes from Master of Malt:
Nose: Toasted bread with marmalade, red apple, some punchy peat hints.
Palate: Barley, thyme honey and more marmalade. Smoke lingers in the background. Some Christmas spices give it heat.
Finish: Pecan, dry peat and cinnamon sticks.
Here’s Jason of Whisky Wise with his thoughts about this whisky on YouTube, which he likens to the old HP 15yo (Sept 2018):