Highland Park 12-year-old

Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Stated Age
12 years old
40.0 % Vol.
700 ml
Added on
07 Jul 2007 10:12 pm

Average value

€ 62.60

108 × in wishlist

1702 × member ratings

5676 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Highland Park 12-year-old

266 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 81.92 points

  1. Slàinte Mhath scored this whisky 84 points Super Administrator

    Once upon a time, there was a distillery on Orkney you could rely on. Then the Vikings invaded, and things went south. For nostalgia's sake, let's review the old HP12. Fragrant and well-balanced, the nose features orange peel, nutmeg and toffee, complemented by cranberries, parsley and delicate bonfire smoke. Sweet and malty in the arrival, the palate turns dry, peppery and mildly phenolic shortly after. Tangerines, bitter honey and hints of espresso round off the medium-length finish. Where are the good old times? Sigh. If it ain't broken, don't fix it!

    RATING: 3.5/5.0 stars ≙ 84 pts → ABOVE AVERAGE
    • Nose
      85 85
    • Taste
      85 85
    • Finish
      83 83

  2. EinSpatzUnterVielen scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

    He has never tasted as good as he has today. Much (and especially dark chocolate) aroma, longer finish than usual, the citrus fruits come out nice ... either I taste today more than usual from the HP12 - or he has evolved in the meanwhile half empty bottle but a lot ... like whatever - today: beautiful malt, I like it!
    • Nose
      Oranges, orange blossom, clover, heather, honey, vanilla, milk chocolate, fine smoke
    • Taste
      fruity-sweet with lemon, grapefruit, orange and much dark chocolate sauce, honey, nougat, sweetish herbs, fine smoke, vanilla, light ginger, oatmeal cookies
    • Finish
      medium long, oatmeal cookies with dark chocolate coating, vanilla, clover sweetness, smoke, orange

  3. MrDvorak scored this whisky 84 points Expert Senior

    RATING: 84pts – |83 – 86 (B) → Good| — Not a “must”, but a nice-to-have.
    • Nose
      85 85
      The nose is gently smoked with notes of bread crust, honeycombs, vanilla and black pepper.
    • Taste
      83 83
      The taste is fruity and bright with hints of ripe pineapple, smoked citruses along with caramelized oranges.
    • Finish
      83 83
      The finish is medium lenght and based on honey notes along with peppery smokiness and caramel.

  4. LDB scored this whisky 85 points Connoisseur

    Really good standard for the softer islandish - but not outlandish - moments. Soft, herbally sweet with a slight hint of smoke. Perfect for the summer beach.
    • Nose
      85 85
    • Taste
      85 85
    • Finish
      84 84

  5. EnjoyLife89 scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      Fruit; Honey; Sweet; Malt; Herbs; Pagan; nut
      For me it smells very fruity, followed by a malt and herbal note. Behind it a touch of heather and nut
    • Taste
      Sweet first, then spicy. Vanilla and malt show up, then a touch and nut and the oak is spreading. It gets slightly dry and a little bitter in the mouth. After that, the nut gets stronger
    • Finish
      first fruit, then oak, which turns the taste into bitter. Then comes a small note of delicate smoke, which brings some nut with it. Then herbs again and a touch of heather.

  6. wbarchive_875995 did not rate this whisky Expert Junior

    Interestingly seasoned with a haze that tastes that aftertaste. Drinking, fresh, delicious.
    • Nose
      Honeycombs, a crust of white bread, vanilla, just a little haze, black pepper and fragrant herbs.
    • Taste
      Bright juicy pineapple, the smoke amplifies a little, then gives way to malt, citrus, lemon, orange and vanilla.
    • Finish
      Smoky honey sweetness, caramel shades with a little bit of pepper.

  7. Moses scored this whisky 81 points Connoisseur

    Actually, I always avoid such bestseller malts under the age of 14. But I got this bottle with an order. I must say. He didn't let me down. Good standard. Respect.
    • Nose
      Wet and mossy with salty caramel that mixes with the light smoke it starts on the nose. The sherry comes through immediately and a hint of toffee.
    • Taste
      Citrus notes with delicate smoke and sweet peaty notes. But rather in the dry direction. Clearly salty coastal region notes come in between. Not so bad, Mr. Specht.
    • Finish
      More medium than long and delicate woody. Again very earthy with a bitter aftertaste, but on the good side. Is still within good standard.

  8. Monte Gehro scored this whisky 81 points Expert Senior

    Tastes and is suitable as an everyday dram, without me particularly excited.
    • Nose
      Overall, rather light nose: minimal smoke, floral and tart herbs, yellow fruit from pear and peach, caramel, at times significantly alcohol for the 40%.
    • Taste
      Mild and sweet-sour, pear, caramel, sour citrus, hints of chocolate. The smoke is no longer felt.
    • Finish
      Pleasant and warm-spicy, but not particularly long, the sweet and fruity aromas soon disappear.

  9. Nosingbär scored this whisky 87 points Expert Junior

    One of my favorite standards despite 40%. The beautiful balance of freshness, light fruits, dark fruits, sweetness, dryness and spice makes him so fast none, for this price. Perfect as a prelude to a tasting evening in the summer. 87/100
    • Nose
      fresh, fruity, sweet, with soft, fresh smoke. Fruit ranges from pineapple to oranges (tart, oily, spicy) to a hint of raisin. Honey and malt are also included. A pinch of salt, very gentle. Lemon balm.
    • Taste
      sweet, oranges, pineapple, jasmine tea, spicy meadow honey, malt, a little cinnamon. The trend towards dry remains unexpected today.
    • Finish
      fresh, bitter, orange peel, dry. Spicy, a little cinnamon. Dried fruits and orange oils remain on the palate, nice finish.

  10. WhiskyLovingPianist scored this whisky 84 points Connoisseur


    It’s nice to return a bottle to its homeland to polish it off, though still hundreds of miles from Orkney as i’m in Annan to visit to the newly reopened Annandale distillery. Back to the HP. A highly respected distillery and core expression, though still bottled at 40% and still with no indications that it’s unchill-filtered or without colourant – though it doesn’t look too duped. At a time when most distilleries are upping the abv to 46% especially for their age-statement range, Highland Park is doing the opposite. The 12yo used to be bottled at 43% around +/-1998 and +/-2003.

    N: Boy was this bad when I first opened it. It went straight next to the Laphroaig Select in the reject pile. However as the months past, it develops nicely on leathery raisins, curiously sweet herbal notes with a [Clynelish-ish] pong, dry fungal-fence panel oak, coconut<<vanilla=honey>lime sponge, peaty<tutti-fruity, a dessert leafiness,… and yet after all these months there’s still an off-putting & underlying surgical spirit note. Yet those complex notes keep reaffirming themselves, so yeah – I’m in two minds.
    T: Frankly rejectable. Adding water initially only adds to a surging aniseed heat, albeit with less but still significant prickliness. After a few months on the ‘naughty shelf’, it has genuinely softened with only a mini kick and a diminished heat build [maybe this explains the 40% bottling strength?]. This softening encourages a touch of the sherry character to the fore with [desirable] sulphurous touches. Develops a definable waxed mouthfeel and a little peat smoke with notes of waxy/plastic-y=leathery>raisin=prune>fig. On reflection, it’s overall sweet-to-sour but still with a tiring aniseed burn.
    F: Plastic-y=waxy with a little more spirity/sour>sweet, heather/smokey>witch hazel finish alongside waxy Caramac and a dirty cocoa-coconut oiliness. Really interesting stuff at the end.
    C: After my initial rejection things improved enormously, but after months and months im still in two minds. Two things have happened to the HP12 in my view. There’s a more prominent use of younger bourbon casks [less refills], over a considerably far smaller proportion of [refill] sherry. It also appears more clean & clinical, meaning the more interesting heathery/sulphury/peat-smoke elements have been somewhat sterilised. Scores swung from 80 to going on 87.Scores a C+


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