Highland Park 2008

Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
Single Cask Series
Stated Age
13 years old
First Fill European Oak Sherry Butt
Number of bottles
66.5 % Vol.
700 ml
Bottled for
10th Anniversary of DrankDozijn
Added on
25 nov 2021 5:31 pm by _H_
UncoloredNon-chillfilteredCask StrengthSingle Cask Whisky

Average value

€ 249.90

21 × in wishlist

42 × member ratings

171 × in collection

Whisky reviews for Highland Park 2008

9 users have left 9 reviews for this whisky. Average rating is 89.87 points.

  1. whiskytornado scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      89 89
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      88 88

  2. WiltChamberlain scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      89 89
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      89 89

  3. glen efze scored this whisky 84 points Expert Senior

    Highland Park, my favorite difficult distillery in Kirkwall on Orkney Mainland. Why difficult? Because of such bottlings. Feeling inflationary, Highland Park is launching the single cask bottlings in the brown bags. Every shop, every country, every fair - everyone has a bag. The color is always dark, as is the case here, and the alcohol content is uncomfortably high. 66.5% vol. after 13 years? This is truly a stick out of the bag. The whisky was bottled for the 10th anniversary of the Dutch online retailer DrankDozijn and now costs around €160 there. That's a proud price for a 13-year-old whisky. It was matured in 1st fill European Oak Sherry Butt - and that left a lot of colour.

    • Nose
      Ok, wood and sherry. Is this highland park? Briefly there is a smoke association, but it quickly disappears. Then wood, sweetness and cocoa squeeze out of the glass. There's rich plum, there's vanilla, powder scented with sandalwood. All this is not elegantly reserved, but actually 'cudgel out of the bag'. However, it is also superficially sweet and syrupy, with few deep flavors. You don't want to research the aromas any further because they press on your nose so forcefully.
    • Taste
      The whisky, of course, calls for water. An undiluted careful sip brings burning on the tongue and an impetuous package of aromas that cannot unfold any charm. It's sweet and sticky, but doesn't develop any differentiated fruit aromas, and here too it doesn't go with strong, thickened fruit juice, but with sugared syrup. The acidity is missing, the depth, the wood cannot contribute any age. Leather notes and tobacco notes are only very marginally present, smoke is hardly perceptible in the mouth, let alone identifiable as heather peat. Herbal liqueur notes flash, whisky from Jägermeister casks.
    • Finish
      For the rapid start, the palate remains quite unimpressed by this whisky. Wood and smoke are not sustainable, some prunes remain. But the soft plum, not the dried plum with acidity and a bitter skin.

      For the rapid start, the palate remains quite unimpressed by this whisky. Wood and smoke are not sustainable, some prunes remain. But the soft plum, not the dried plum with acidity and a bitter skin.

  4. whiskyexperte scored this whisky 89 points Expert Junior

    Nose : Strong sherry notes with oak

    Taste: Dark berries with a lot of powdered sugar, subtle oak notes - alcohol is well integrated despite 65.5% - tolerates a lot of water
    Departure: short, sweet (Demerara - sugar), delicious

  5. leeho scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

  6. Dramned! scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    I can no longer see a highland park there, even the subtle smoke has no chance. But the force with which it almost leaps out of the glass has been sensational for 13 years! And the rather dominant tart, dry oak note shows that it was not taken out of the barrel a year too early.
    It also benefits a lot from dilution, the woody bitterness is significantly reduced and the sweetness and complexity increase dramtically. This whisky is a prime example of how much influence a barrel can have on a whisky.
    This Highland Park is not the best whisky I had in my glass in 2021, but without question the most intense and versatile and therefore most fascinating. Here you can really experiment with water and keep yourself occupied for a long time.
    • Nose
      Undiluted, a little bit bubbly at first, then violent dark oak notes come through. Tart and slightly musty, that must have been a really old barrel. The typical sherry flavors that I expect are extremely covered and can only be guessed at. The alcohol is too dominant. So carefully put water in and try again. And what can I say - it is blooming. As if I had taken an invisible lid from the jar, suddenly sweet, tangy Demerara sugar and a cornucopia of deep, dark dried fruits flow towards me. Pickled raisins, sweet vanilla pipe tobacco and juicy dates come, peeled oranges and still old, musty wood, but much milder and more in the background. Even with great difficulty, my nose cannot even find smoke or other HP-DNA. The barrel did a great job.
    • Taste
      Undiluted, here too, very bubbly, hot and peppery burning, plus an almost acrid bitterness of the old oak wood. Diluted with water to a good 50%, a fascinating metamorphosis begins here as well: the sharp frittiness disappears almost completely, the whole mouth fills with immense force with a very spicy sweetness and extremely aromatic dried fruit. An image of the nose, raisins, dark dates, sweet oranges and dried, slightly sulphured apricots. Tart and sweet pipe tobacco could perhaps suggest something of the typical HP smoke. And then comes a dry oak front with an astringent earthy bitterness that feels slightly furry on the tongue. However, it is much milder than at the beginning before the dilution and complements the overall picture with a nicely woven, tart woodiness, without covering everything.
    • Finish
      At this point at the latest, he reveals his age. If on the palate it pretends to be a really old sherry whisky, the rather short finish brings the truth to light. Nonetheless, nice, sweet and spicy sherry aromas are also evident here, embedded in a strong dry oak note, but that doesn't last too long.

  7. Fat Bastard! scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      89 89
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      85 85

  8. hs305 scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    [November, 2021] Another single cask from Highland Park (has anyone collected them all?), this time a first fill sherry butt which is dark as the night...

    ...and it tastes exactly this way. This is a sherry monster dram with both sherry and wood in the driver's seat while the fine HP malt is hardly detectable. Personally I prefer balanced whisky but from time to time I enjoy such a monstrous drink too, simply because it is spectacular. But one dram is enough and I do not ask for a second serving during an evening (usually). Is the very high price justified? I leave this to you (because the Highland Park malt is not recognisable I personally do not accept any HP price premium over comparable releases of other distilleries).
    • Nose
      89 89
      The colour is very dark at burnt umber and the nose offers exactly what the label promises - a strong modern sherry profile from European oak (which means a significant herbal spike). The sherry is flawless but dominates the nose completely so the HP spirit has a hard time to break through this wall of winey aromas. After significant breathing time (20 minutes) some spare spirit-driving aromas manage this difficult task but this nose is miles away from what I call balance - this is a sherry monster, not more and not less.
    • Taste
      90 90
      The taste is driven by the sherry and the wood with the malt in a walk-on role only. The two major players perform a spectacular performance on my taste buds with a lot of different flavours jumping back and forth. If someone does not insist on malt flavours in his/her malt this is a great dram, no doubt. The sherry itself was a rather young one (not matured in a solera system) but it tastes excellent, just the complexity is somewhat limited.
    • Finish
      90 90
      The dram arrives hot on the palate which is no wonder at 66.5% abv. By the way, this more than the recommended cask filling strength level of around 63% abv. The mouthfeel is bitter from heavy tannins which could be expected given this dark colour at such a young age. Because of the very sweet winey taste this is not a major problem as the two extremes fit well together (like so often with sherry monsters, that is why so many people love them).

  9. just 2thetop scored this whisky 88 points Expert Junior

    Class presentation - serious bottle (like SV Vintage Cask Strength) with all essential info and no marketing blah. The brown hessian sack is a great touch too. Would make a fantastic gift/present.

    First impression - dark sherry color - wet cask? But quality stuff nonetheless.
    On the nose - subdued - no alcohol prickle at 65% abv, rich sherry notes, dark jammy fruits
    As the nose suggests with fig jam upfront , dark berry citrus in the background; full cask strength 66.5 surprisingly smooth - probably due to the heavy sherry cask influence and the american oak I would say. No spicy European oak notes here. Not complex but nevertheless a voluptuous taste experience.
    Well my bottle has only been open 30 minutes so I'm expecting some improvement with some oxidation, so it could eventually make a solid 90 points I hope :)


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