Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Stated Age
40 years old
Refill Casks
48.3 % Vol.
50 ml 700 ml 750 ml
Bottle code
Added on
02 May 2008 9:52 am
UncoloredNon-chillfilteredCask Strength

Average value

€ 3381.35

97 × in wishlist

294 × member ratings

268 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Highland Park 40-year-old

46 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 93.55 points

  1. Palindrome scored this whisky 93 points Expert Senior

    The last of the late-great HP's. I just love this bottle. It's got four score brilliance in spades. The key for me lies in the balance of smoke, power, and sweetness, like a woman who sings while she makes love, but softly, in one's ear, almost like a whisper, like a breathy exhalation of what could have been consumation. When a far northern island whisky gets this good, it could pass for a reincarnated ghostly Viking queen with a gloaming broad sword at her side that matches metal and mist in a display of fecund ferocity.

    Here is my full review. After I wrote it, I sprang for a bottle at auction. Well, my friends and I did together. Spring, sprang, sprung . . . verse.


  2. detachedblue scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    Elegant and delicate noses, very watery palate, it's already gone.

  3. lincolnimp scored this whisky 91 points Connoisseur

    Old IB Highland Park tonight and see how they compare against an OB 

    Tried a couple of 1959 OB dumpy last night so these IB will interesting. 








    and possibly one other older OB. 

    scores are between 89.29 for the 1990 and 93.95 for the 1967 DT, I mention the scores because my scores were lower for the 2 vattings of 1959 I had last night compared to the WB average. 

    The 67 DT is excellent with great nose and balance but lighter than older OB in the sherry department, I will try this one to compare as they were distilled within a year of each other. 


    Whoa, although the 40 year OB has the classical sherried profile of aged HP I preferred the DT, even though the points are the same. 


    1 - 1972 The Bottlers 

    2 - 1967 John Scotts 

    3 = HP 40 OB 

    3 = HP 30 OB 

    4 - 1974 Signatory 

    5 - 1990 SV 

    6 - 1968 DT 

    The 1972 Bottlers was the clear winner here followed by 67 John Scotts DT, both are very well balanced. Equal 3rd was the OB 40 year and 30 year from 2005 and while the 40 year is more complex I think I preferred the 30 year on enjoyment regardless of the scores. If you consider current auction prices then it is a no contest as the 30 year is much better value for money. 

    The 74 SV in reality was almost as good and when you consider it was only 16 years when bottled, to get such a good score shows its quality. The 1990 SV surprised me with a very respectable score and bringing up the rear was the 68 DT which was fine but like a whisky not firing on all cylinders and was lacking in all departments compared to the others. 

    If you see some HP by The Bottlers, do a bottle share, sublime stuff. 

  4. Skywalka scored this whisky 89 points Member Junior

    This is no doubt a beautiful whisky, but it's nevertheless overrated and overpriced, again by people with too much money and not enough sense. My only quibble about this whisky is that it's all sweet and bitter/earthy notes, not enough sour fruity notes to be balanced for my palate. But of course that's my personal preference, I need a nice sour fruity aspect in my whisky to really float my boat. Still, the quality and pleasant flavour profile is undeniable, so while I don't agree, I can somewhat understand why people go a bit silly over this stuff.

  5. pere scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      Intense, spicy, sherry, wood, a bit of wood tar, smoke, maritime, fruity, heather, coffee.
    • Taste
      Powerful, beeswax, a bit of honey, woody, spices, a bit of hay, quite dry, a bit of toffee.
    • Finish
      Spices, wood, quite dry, a bit bitter, spicy sweetness, a hint of malt.

  6. olegborgol scored this whisky 95 points Connoisseur

    24-23-24-24, the aroma can be inhaled endlessly - multilayered, complex. The aftertaste does not end very long. Tasted with 10ml of Breathable (Thanks Max))

  7. Macheye scored this whisky 95 points Expert Senior

    Highland Park 40 year is simply stunning and the finest whisky I’ve sampled during my time writing for The Dramble. The flavour delivery is precise, the balance is perfect, and the development and finish offer almost endless depth and complexity.
    • Nose
      Exquisitely rich and expressive, but given the hefty age statement, you’ll not be surprised when I suggest that some substantial resting time (over 30 minutes) is required here. Once fully opened, there’s nothing shy about this nose – wonderful maturity and remarkable aroma development – it’s hauntingly sexy and an experience you’re unlikely to want to end….ever. Pronounced leather, mahogany polish and musty bone dry paper conjure up images of a wood-panelled Victoria library packed to the rafters with ancient leather-bound tomes. The traditional Highland Park profile is still extraordinarily strong here – dried highland grasses, heathery honey and sweet wispy smoke – but everything is richer, deeper and altogether more refined. Orange peels, Peruvian dark chocolate and liquorice merge with luxuriant dark berry fruits, prune juice and dusty aged spices – cinnamon and nutmeg. The level of smoke here is surprising, it’s still a wafting background aroma, packed full of burnt hays, stubbed out cigars and tinder boxes – but it’s much more pronounced that one might expect from 40 years of maturation – this results in a peat that seeming both ancient and refined and yet lively and spry at the same time. Woodiness levels are unsurprisingly high – and yet still somehow restrained – highly polished dark old wood – not a trace of young sappy vanilla and with plenty of beeswax and lacquered furniture. Beautiful, captivating and lingering. I could nose this forever.
    • Taste
      Unctuous, slightly oily and with a perfectly judged arrival that delivers a surge of refined flavour with almost no perceptible alcohol despite the 48.3% ABV. Yes, friends, if you’re judging whisky on its ‘smoothness’ this is as smooth as they come. The front palate offers up a stunning balance of mouth-coating burnt sweet heather and cinder toffee, sitting alongside raisins, orange and dried citrus peels. This develops (slowly) into perfectly judged bitterness – from both spices and wood. Cinnamon, nutmeg, a sprinkle of white pepper and then a wave of tanned leather, ancient saddle hides, dusty books, teak oil, mahogany and ebony woods. The development continues into the back palate where sweetness returns to balance the deeper, spicier wood-led flavours – a harvest of juicy, reduced red and black fruit jams and preserves alongside chocolate and burnt honeycomb. Smoke runs throughout, but is most discernible in the back palate – it’s an intriguing and subtle combination of sun-scorched hays, burnt sugars and coastalness. Glorious.
    • Finish
      Almost never ending – ever decreasing little lapping waves of chocolate, berries, ancient wood and aromatic spices. It dries superbly without any perceptible tannic influence.

  8. lincolnimp scored this whisky 91 points Connoisseur

    When this came out I refused to pay £475 for a bottle of this, (the guy won it in a raffle) I offered the guy £450 and stuck to my guns, what a fool I was. I have regretted that specific whisky decision to this day.

    This is a beautiful whisky, not worth the money it goes for now obviously but the balance is spot on.

    I need to try the 30 year 48.1% original now to compare.

    Whisky in general does not come much better than this, sure I am an old HP fan and biased but you cannot ignore the quality here.
    • Nose
      95 95
    • Taste
      93 93
    • Finish
      96 96

  9. lincolnimp scored this whisky 91 points Connoisseur

    Re taste for a sherried whisky H2H.

    More proof that my palate is changing , this is a good whisky but the 1962 44 year Tamdhu GM at 43% was a few points in front of this.
    91 points all round with the score dropping for the 2nd time.. The finish is the best part
    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      92 92

  10. Andytka3 scored this whisky 95 points Connoisseur

    1522) Highland Park, 40YO (2008)
    Well, first dram since I was 'blow' last week, so lets go easy, nothing more than 50% for a while.
    • Nose
      N- A recently opened HP40, same batch as the old bottle I tried 4 years ago, which that one has show signs of oxidation and tiredness. 5 seconds into nosing this, you know this is an 'essay' whisky, but will keep it short and sweet. Caramelized dried longan, dried lychee and various exotic dried stone fruits. Toasted leafy herbs and spices, walnuts and warm ginger extract, drift of soya, follow by warm nasi pulut manis. Elegantly dark with charming white elements. (95/23)
    • Taste
      P- Good reflection on the age, the oak speaks with authority yet in a well compose manner. No, there is no flaw or anything to pick on here. Burst of flavours from a mere sip, spicy ginger infused sultanas, orange peel, brownish leather, bitter coffee with lace of stone fruits sweetness. Just marvelous. (96/24)
    • Finish
      F- Long, essence of oak escalated with profound white fruitiness. Mesmerizing nasi pulut manis and exotic stone fruits. Taste wholly and complete, superbly integrated. (95/23)

      B/B- 97/24

      Weighted Rate - 95pt, +1 for an old malt


Add tasting tags by clicking the flavours you recognized in this whisky.


Whiskybase is founded in 2007 with the goal to create the biggest resource of whisky information in the world. A community driven website built by and for whisky enthusiasts.  

Whiskybase B.V. 
Zwaanshals 530 
3035 KS Rotterdam 
The Netherlands 

KVK: 52072819
VAT: NL850288836B01

Copyright © 2021

Forgot your password?