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Highland Park 21-year-old

Overall rating
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Stated Age
21 years old
47.5 % Vol.
50 ml 700 ml
Bottle code
L0471P L4 08/11 09:31
Added on
14 Jun 2015 5:02 pm

Average value

€ 306,58

Whisky Reviews for Highland Park 21-year-old

56 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 89.03 points

  1. hs305 scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    [March, 2018]  Quite a while ago I did my last head-to-head tasting so I lust after another one, this time it is this 21-years old HP versus the 25-years old HP https://www.whiskybase.com/whiskies/whisky/73617/highland-park-25-year-old both from very recent batches.  To verify the results I repeated this tasting some days later.

    Colour:  The 21y is burnished and the 25y two shades paler at deep copper.  The texture of the 21y shows small tears with medium fast legs while the 25y has bigger and more sticky tears with medium fast legs.  Not a really good oiliness on both drams, unfortunately.

    Nose:  The 21y offers a nice profile of mainly autumn floral, herbal and spicy wooden aromas that is balanced but not overly complex.  Some barley sugary sweet aromas pop up after a while.  The nose of the 25y is more complex as it adds fruity and heather honey aromas to the party.  Clearly I prefer the 25y on this dimension but to be honest:  I had much better HP noses in the past...

    Initial mouthfeel:  The 21y arrives warming and (just a little) coating on the palate with significant adstringent moments from heavy tannins and a slight bitterness.  This is not my favourite mouthfeel, unfortunately.  Luckily the mouthfeel of the 25y is better but still it is not really coating (I expected this from the rather weak oiliness already).  At least there are no adstringent or unpleasant bitter moments.  But where is the trademark great mouthfeel of HP gone these days?

    Taste:  The taste of the 21y is very wood driven with spices and herbs in a rather bitter setting.  This is too unbalanced for me as the sweet and fruity flavours hide in the background and are hard to detect.  The 25y is better on this dimension too but again without being truly great (like older batches).  Still this is a fine and complex taste with lots of different flavours, for sure.  But I cannot score this above 90 points as this would be unfair to many other fine drams.  

    Finish:  The 21y adds some sweet flavours (sugars) during the medium finish that are highly welcomed to at least somewhat balance out the drying bitterness.  The finish of the 25y is just of a medium length too (the light texture takes its toll) and it dries out at the end (cold ashes, papers).   

    Some water opens up both the nose and taste of the 21y nicely (a two points difference in my score) but it is not recommended with the 25y as this dram flattens out quickly when reduced by water. 

    Oops, this was unexpected.  The usually very consistently great 20+years bottlings of Highland Park seem to have degraded substantially.  The rather light texture/oiliness cannot match the big mouthfeel and finish of older HP drams (did they hurry the distillation too much?).  Both the nose and taste are way simplier than previous batches and somewhat unbalanced with too much wood influence and missing many delicate fruity and peaty aromas of older HP's (for my taste buds, maybe others see this different).  To be honest, I would rather buy older batches at auctions than these new editions - even if their design is not that fancy...
    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      87 87

  2. EinSpatzUnterVielen scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    A very fine Highland park, and the youngest of those I really like. Of course, the 25s and 30s are miles away and much more intense, but this 21er is the first big throw in the standard range. First-class harmonious, very elegant, the HP style, which is mainly based on the axis heather honey orange chocolate, is here in great balance and down to the smallest detail as you love HP: fine flavors, not too much barrel influence, Fruit, sweetness and the just right touch of spices make for a completely successful Malt - schöön! Too bad that this standard has now been (re-) listed.
    • Nose
      Orange blossoms, clover blossoms, lilacs, the HP-typical light heather, acacia honey, nasturtium, dried spicy papaya seeds, oranges, dark and also milk chocolate, sweet pipe tobacco, vanilla, nutmeg, bookstore (very new and very old books), light smoke, Nut cake, marzipan, very light mint, Toblerone
    • Taste
      oily-sweet, creamy, viscous, orange and tangerine, intense and sweet exploding, over it dissolving dark chocolate, also milk chocolate, orange blossom tea, lime blossom tea, orange pekoe tea, acacia honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, nasturtium, baked apple, papaya, candied Oranges, nut cake, a touch of sweet tobacco, Amaretto, mild smoke - nice warm mouthfeel, everything very harmonious - towards the end the barrel flavors are getting more and more beautiful, really great everything
    • Finish
      long, honey, tangerines, chocolate, honey, vanilla, marzipan, the chocolate dresses the entire mouth, very lightly at the end mint and cucumber and anise ... and again honey and orange blossom ... wonderful!

  3. Macheye scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    Immediately likeable with dense layers of aroma to attempt to discern. Sweet honey, toffee dark ripe fruits come out to play right away. In support there are nutty malts, leather, polish, heather and dusty smoke. Hiding away is a real umami flavour - balsamic vinegar maybe? along with sharp burnt orange and subtle wood spicing, particularly ginger and nutmeg. There's an awful lot going on.

    Full tasting note: https://www.thedramble.com/tastings/highland-park/highland-park-21-year-old/

  4. ctu scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    Well matured, complex HP. I like it.
    • Nose
      Honey, peat, sherry, orange, toffee, waxy apples, lavender
    • Taste
      Sweet start, peat and smoke, orange oil, and creamy dryness in the end
    • Finish
      Long, oily, sweet

  5. pianoman scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      Full sweetness of oranges and honey. Clove, chocolate, light aromatic smoke.
    • Taste
      Apples and oranges with honey. Pepper. Chocolate.

  6. JohannesB scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    I really like the Highland Park 21 better than the 18-year-old. The sweet, creamy and incredibly pleasant mouthfeel is a highlight. One wishes, the feeling would never pass away. The alcohol level of 47.5% fits perfectly, the newer, weaker version does not really convince. Unfortunately, just under 200 EUR are already a hefty price for this whisky ...
    • Nose
      Tender smoke, burning herbs, a bit of salt and a delicate mineral note first come into the nose. Immediately followed by wild honey, limes, eucalyptus, almonds, marzipan and some sherry. Everything is here, what makes Highland Park good and lovable! Overall for 21 years pretty fresh and lively.
    • Taste
      Now the whisky shows its age and reveals a downright consistency in the mouth. Wonderfully thick, oily and sweet. White chocolate, roasted almonds, orange marmalade and distinct herbal notes and intense spiciness. The creamy mouthfeel does not stop at all.
    • Finish
      The medium-long finish is carried by marzipan, almond syrup, white chocolate and the typical, slightly herbaceous, smoke of Highland Park. Later, caramel and vanilla strengthen. Also on the finish is the still existing creamy and soft sweetness.

  7. MaltyMillionaire scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    Yup...another HP 21 review. Still pretty good and worth trying. 
    • Nose
      Soft honey and peat, wisps of sweet smoke, light grassiness, vanilla, and butterscotch.
    • Taste
      Sweet arrival. Honey with faint peat and smoke, bread, then develops into lightly spiced honey and imperceptible peat.
    • Finish
      Sweet, light peat. Herbal, grassy, and drying in that pleasant HP way. There is a recurring and pleasant tannic spice once all has subsided.

  8. ColdAesthetics scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    Was a positive surprise for me, too bad he ran out. Acts very mature and yet crisp for his age, goes exactly in my direction.
    • Nose
      Nice crunchy, nuts, bitter orange, grapefruit, burned butter, leather, pipe tobacco, books, nutmeg, herbal honey, heath meadow, marzipan
    • Taste
      Interesting sherry-bourbon mixture, cherries, lavender, very full, orange peel, tangerines, fennel, heather, cocoa, then take out tannins and some salt at the back, slightly roasted malt, some tobacco, herbal honey, nutmeg, ginger
    • Finish
      Dry, salt, malt, ginger, nutmeg, bitter orange, medium to long

  9. Calmar scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    Very nice mole, restrained-noble, rich, well-balanced, deep enough and complex.
    • Nose
      Open, dry, smoke-peaty notes in the frame of soft sherry, burned pine branches, lapsang suhong, old furniture, furniture varnish, prunes, fried nuts, lemon zest, new leather goods, polish, dry herbs, honey.
    • Taste
      Saturated, oily, there is more sherry, smoke-peaty in the background, raisins, prunes, creamy confectionery notes, dry grasses.
    • Finish
      Soft, spicy, sour prunes, a little sulfur shades - burnt matchheads, metallic sour, cola, a little ash and peat in the background

  10. lachaineduwhisky did not rate this whisky Expert Senior

    Enthusiasm: Nose 3/5 Mouth 4/5 Final 2/5 Whisky n ° 1698
    • Nose
      Sweet and discreet, slightly fruity. Barely peated.
    • Taste
      Well fruity and spicy, there is pep and relief.
    • Finish
      Unlike the mouth, the finish is rather flat and watery, what a pity!


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