Overall rating
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

€ 2946.76

87 × in wishlist

288 × member ratings

261 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Highland Park 40-year-old

41 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 93.77 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. olegborgol scored this whisky 95 points Expert Senior

    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))

  3. detachedblue scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

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

  4. 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.

  5. lincolnimp scored this whisky 92 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. 

  6. lincolnimp scored this whisky 92 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

  7. Seanzhang scored this whisky 92 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      93 93
    • Taste
      91 91
    • Finish
      91 91

  8. Calmar scored this whisky 96 points Connoisseur

    Masterpiece, rich, deep, complex in terms of composition, magnificent in development - starting in all components as a fairly simple set of derivatives, an epic canvas is born before your eyes, worthy of extremely high marks, calmly and unhurriedly revealing itself in front of you in all its glory.
    • Nose
      Open, dry, spicy woody shades, varnish, caustic mineral-peaty notes, dry herbs, furniture polish, coffee, fondant, pipe tobacco, at first quite simple and primitive, but over time, depth, saturation is revealed, many shades grow through the initial picture ...
    • Taste
      Powerful, rich, sweet-woody notes are replaced by ash-peat and light smoky tones, coffee, dark chocolate, pipe tobacco, creamy motifs - toffee, fondant, leather goods, dry herbs, nougat - a very powerful development, it all starts literally from three or four derivatives and in a few seconds everything around blooms in dozens of shades and half-tones, difficult, deep.
    • Finish
      Soft, warming, continuation of the taste, smooth fading of the entire gustatory palette with a predominance of sweet creamy and woody herbal shades.

  9. DannyDram scored this whisky 95 points Expert Senior

    Filigree, delicate sweetness with a lot of thrust.
    • Nose
      96 96
      Orange, boiled apricot, honey, honeydew melon, marzipan, peppermint, milk chocolate, leather, fine smoke, paraffin. Outstandingly balanced, filigree, high intensity.
    • Taste
      94 94
      Sherry, gingerbread, honey, fresh wood, cooked fruits, paraffin. Subtle sweetness, oily, silky, beautifully balanced, mouth-filling and full of pressure.
    • Finish
      94 94
      Leathery, fine tobacco smoke, peppery. Gentle, warming balanced, long finish.

  10. prz22 scored this whisky 97 points Expert Junior

    Creamy, complex, elegant, delicate masterpiece.
    • Nose
      98 98
      Amazing complexity, constantly changing..
      Sometimes creamy sweetness, then sea flavours, gardens of flowers, herbs teas and spices, skin cosmetics, vanilla essence.. perfection!
      So complex being so subtle.
    • Taste
      96 96
      So oily and creamy, perfectly balanced : herbs, spices, lemon slice, sea breeze, sunbathing oils.
      Perfectly integrated alcohol, complex softness evaporating into massage oils..
    • Finish
      96 96
      Not strong at all.
      Still very long, endless actually...giving back,piece by piece a little of its delicacy, soft flavours, vanilla flowers, white pepper and many other


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