Highland Park 12 Year Old Isle of Orkney Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) SKU #620002

Price: $44.99

WE 93 WA 90
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Professional Reviews

K&L Notes

Highland Park, one of only two distilleries in the Orkney Isles, is the world's most northerly whisky distillery. It was founded in 1798 by Magnus Euson. Until it was licensed in 1825, its production was illicit and Euson was assisted in evading the excisemen by a kinsman who was a Kirk elder, and hid the contraband under the pulpit. By the 1880s, Highland Park had an established reputation and at one time both the King of Denmark and the Emperor of Russia declared it to be the finest whisky they had ever tasted. Highland Park has been described as the greatest all-rounder in the world of malt whisky. Its product retains much that is traditional, even original. It has its own floor maltings and peat beds and two traditional peat-fired kilns. Many believe the unique character of Highland Park comes from the local peat beds which have absorbed the salt spray of centuries and which impart a rooty, heathery quality to the whisky. Only a carefully measured amount is used to fire the kiln for each malting. Oak casks are then used for the maturation process. As a single malt, Highland Park matures superbly. In blends, it is said to be a catalyst, bringing its best to other malts.

Staff Reviews

  • David Othenin-Girard
    By: David Othenin-Girard
    K&L Staff Member
    Highland Park remains a sleeper despite the some international attention, it hasn't achieved the heights the it's sister distillery in Speyside has. Perhaps that's because it comes from the far flung Isle of Orkney or maybe it's just that HP isn't as flashy as her Sherried southern sister. Highland Park has been consistently producing some of the best malts anywhere in the world since 1798. Traditionally, Highland Park (many years ago) was a big smoky sooty oily funky monsters. In modern times the distillery has adopted a more subtle style. I guess the move away from floor maltings has increase it's availability and consistency. What's great about modern HP 12 is one of those slightly peated malts that almost anyone can appreciate. When someone asks for something with just a little bit of smoke, we really don't have a lot of options. With HP 12 you can expect a nose fresh malt, sweet honey, slight green woodsy quality and the slightest smoldering peat left over night in the hearth. The Island vibe is not lost in HP and a soft briny note is present throughout. The palate remains on the malty side with the peat taking a back seat and the real highland character turning up. All in all a lovely little offering the remains quite affordable from this historic distillery.
  • James Knight
    By: James Knight
    K&L Staff Member
    The malty, soft, cereal grain and butterscotch aroma of the Highland Park 12 is imbued with a whisper of peat that draws one in to a deeper place. For me, it's the long-ago memory of an oceanside cottage--opening the door, the cupboards, the aroma was always familiar and comforting yet distant, salty, and of the sea. That's Highland Park, to me: a straightforward butter cookie of a whisky, but the window's open just a crack, and you can smell the sea and heather coming in.


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