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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
UncoloredNon-chillfilteredCask Strength

Average value

€ 297,96


54 Notes

Connoisseur hs305 Review note
02 Mar 2018 7:52 pm
hs305 gave this whisky 87 points

[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...

Weighted Rate
Initial taste
There is no accounting for taste...
Expert Senior EinSpatzUnterVielen Tasting note
31 Aug 2017 11:40 am
EinSpatzUnterVielen gave this whisky 91 points

Orangenblüten, Kleeblüten, Flieder, das HP-typische leichte Heidekraut, Akazienhonig, Kapuzinerkresse, getrocknete scharfe Papayasamen, Orangen, dunkle und auch Vollmilch-Schokolade, süßer Pfeifentabak, Vanille, Muskat, Buchladen (sehr neue und sehr alte Bücher), leichter Rauch, Nusskuchen, Marzipan, sehr leicht Minze, Toblerone


ölig-süß, cremig, dickflüssig, Orangen und Mandarinen, intensiv und süß explodierend, darüber zerfließende dunkle Schokolade, auch Vollmilchschokolade, Orangenblütentee, Lindenblütentee, Orange-Pekoe-Tee, Akazienhonig, Zimt, Muskat, Ingwer, Kapuzinerkresse, Bratapfel, Papaya, kandierte Orangen, Nusskuchen, ein Touch süßer Tabak, Amaretto, milder Rauch - schönes warmes Mundgefühl, alles sehr harmonisch - gegen Ende kommen die Fass-Aromen immer schöner zum Tragen, wirklich klasse abgestimmt alles


lang, Honig, Mandarinen, Schokolade, Honig, Vanille, Marzipan, die Schokolade kleidet den gesamten Mundraum aus, ganz zum Schluss sehr leicht Minze und Gurke und Anis ... und wieder Honig und Orangenblüten ... wunderbar!


Ein sehr feiner Highland Park, und der jüngste derer, die mir sehr gut gefallen. Natürlich sind der 25er und der 30er Meilen entfernt und viel intensiver, aber dieser 21er ist der erste große Wurf in der Standardrange. Erstklassig harmonisch, sehr elegant, der HP-Style, der vor allem auf der Achse Heidekraut-Honig-Orangen-Schokolade beruht, ist hier in toller Balance und bis ins kleinste Detail so, wie man HP liebt: feine Aromen, nicht zuviel Fasseinfluss, Frucht, Süße und der genau richtige Touch Gewürze ergeben einen rundum gelungenen Malt - schöön! Schade, dass dieser Standard nun (erneut) ausgelistet worden ist.

Expert Senior Macheye Note
26 Jun 2017 12:18 pm
Macheye gave this whisky 90 points

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/

www.thedramble.com - it's a matter of opinion...add yours
Connoisseur ctu Tasting note
21 Jan 2017 11:59 am
ctu gave this whisky 89 points
Deep copper

Honey, peat, sherry, orange, toffee, waxy apples, lavender


Sweet start, peat and smoke, orange oil, and creamy dryness in the end


Long, oily, sweet


Well matured, complex HP. I like it.

Expert Senior pianoman Tasting note
02 Jul 2016 3:41 pm
pianoman gave this whisky 89 points

Volle Süße von Orangen und Honig. Nelke, Schokolade, leichter aromatischer Rauch.


Äpfel und Orangen mit Honig. Pfeffer. Schokolade.

Expert Senior JohannesB Tasting note
06 Feb 2016 11:45 pm
JohannesB gave this whisky 91 points

Zarter Rauch, verbrennende Kräuter, etwas Salz und eine zarte mineralische Note treten zuerst in die Nase. Sogleich gefolgt von Waldhonig, Limetten, Eukalyptus, Mandeln, Marzipan und etwas Sherry. Hier ist alles geboten, was Highland Park gut und liebenswert macht! Insgesamt für 21 Jahre ziemlich frisch und lebendig.


Jetzt zeigt der Whisky sein Alter und offenbart eine regelrecht zähe Konsistenz im Mund. Wunderbar dick, ölig und süß. Weiße Schokolade, gebrannte Mandeln, Orangenmarmelade und deutliche Kräuternoten und intensive Würze. Das cremige Mundgefühl will garnicht aufhören.


Der mittellange Abgang wird getragen von Marzipan, Mandelsirup, weißer Schokolade und dem typischen, leicht krautigen, Rauch von Highland Park. Später erstarken Karamell und Vanille. Auch im Abgang fällt die immer noch vorhandene cremige und weiche Süße auf.


Der Highland Park 21 gefällt mir deutlich besser als der 18-jährige. Das süße, cremige und umheimlich angenehme Mundgefühl ist ein Highlight. Man wünscht sich, das Gefühl würde niemals vergehen. Die Alkoholstärke von 47,5% passt perfekt, die neuere, schwächere Version weiß nicht so recht zu überzeugen. Leider sind inzwischen knapp 200 EUR schon ein heftiger Preis für diesen Whisky...

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Expert Senior MaltyMillionaire Tasting note
26 Oct 2015 2:52 am
MaltyMillionaire gave this whisky 89 points
Old gold

Soft honey and peat, wisps of sweet smoke, light grassiness, vanilla, and butterscotch.


Sweet arrival. Honey with faint peat and smoke, bread, then develops into lightly spiced honey and imperceptible peat.


Sweet, light peat. Herbal, grassy, and drying in that pleasant HP way. There is a recurring and pleasant tannic spice once all has subsided.


Yup...another HP 21 review. Still pretty good and worth trying. 

Expert Senior lachaineduwhisky Tasting note
08 May 2018 2:39 pm

Doux et discret, légèrement fruité. A peine tourbé.


Bien fruité et épicé, il y a du peps et du relief.


Contrairement à la bouche, la finale est plutôt plate et aqueuse, quel dommage !


Enthousiasme :

Nez 3/5

Bouche 4/5

Finale 2/5

Whisky n°1698

http://www.youtube.com/lachaineduwhisky www.facebook.com/lachaineduwhisky
Expert Senior PatSch23_12 Tasting note
08 Mar 2018 3:29 pm
PatSch23_12 gave this whisky 93 points
Deep copper

sehr dicht, Eukalyptus, deutlich blumig und fruchtig (Birne, Grapefruit, Orange), Ingwer, schwelendes Heu mit Kräutern (Highland Park Rauch, wunderbar eingebunden), würzig-süßer Honig, Marzipan, salziges Karamell


ölig, cremig, trockener Kräuterrauch mit heller Schokolade, Orangen- und Birnenschale, würziger Pfeffer und intensive Kräuter (Rosmarin und Thymian)


zartbitteres Holz, warm und lang


Ein wunderbarer Standard. Ein Jammer, dass es ihn nicht mehr geben wird.

Connoisseur lincolnimp Note
07 Jan 2018 12:32 pm
lincolnimp gave this whisky 86 points

This is the result of an HP tasting yesterday:-  

1st -highland-park-30-year-old 48.1% 

2nd - highland-park-30-year-old 45.7%  

3rd highland-park-25-year-old 48.1%  

4th - highland-park-25-year-old 45.7%  

5th - highland-park-18-year-old 43%  

6th - highland-park-21-year-old 47.5%   

The 30 year 48.1% is the best but there is little between the 25 year and 30 year offerings.   The 18 year is good and better value than the 21 year.


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