Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Double First Fill Sherry Casks
46.8 % Vol.
700 ml 700 ml
New Label
Bottle code
Added on
11 Oct 2016 1:03 pm by thatcher2000

Average value

€ 89.35

31 × in wishlist

257 × member ratings

1006 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Highland Park Dark Origins

28 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 85.26 points

  1. stefan_PB scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    Absolute top whisky. In this price segment, the best I have ever drunk. Very good balance between smoke and fruitiness. Also has a proper sea character!
    • Nose
      86 86
    • Taste
      91 91
    • Finish
      90 90

  2. Aique scored this whisky 90 points Member Junior

    Exceptionally good whisky! Lovely full taste with the level of smokeyness I love. The first day the finish was quite bitter, but on day 2 that was completely gone! The interaction with the oxygen did the job probably.
    • Nose
      85 85
    • Taste
      95 95
    • Finish
      90 90

  3. wisekycourse scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    new reference that can be drunk better, because of my growing attraction to sherrys?
    good pick!
    • Nose
      malt, black fruits, woody
    • Taste
      vanilla, spices, butter, sherry that comes little by little, one side that stings version smoke, no I do not feel peat
    • Finish
      candied orange, cocoa, old wood and sweet spices that stay well in the glass

  4. Gareth74 scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

    Big, brutal, black.

    This is a bit of a funny whisky from Highland Park. It lacks all the usual finesse that people over the years have associated with the distillery and in its place there’s this loud, brash, bombastic dirty sherry bomb, all wrapped in black and looking like a whisky only a goth could love.

    This is another one of those whiskies that really grabbed my attention the first time I poured a dram. I can remember it coming out and getting a lot of flack for how it looked, the fact it was a NAS release and that the price was considered to be over the top. It probably was a few quid over the odds but you could find it on offer if you looked and then it actually became something of a real bargain.

    Smell and taste wise ‘dirty’ is a good descriptor.

    On the nose, sherry, a certain oldness, old oak furniture and faint smoke, cocoa and dried fruits. Baking spices mingle with a very faint sulphur note. Some marmalade or Seville oranges. Coffee? Dates and figs. It’s quite punchy.

    The palate is sweet, sherried, spicy, there’s that typical Highland Park smoke note in there but it’s wrapped up in a sherry, cocoa, dark chocolate sauce, oak and over-cooked marmalade cake blanket. There’s a dirtiness to the flavours but not in a bad way. A funky richness (a tiny tinge of sulphur in a nice way, think the far away whiff of matchboxes) and a wee bit of coastal salinity. It’s here that the 46.8% ABV helps really hammer the palate home. It’s a really good delivery of flavours.

    The finish is big and ballsy, cocoa, wood, sherry and smoke with a pinch of campfire ash, long and drying but not unpleasant.

    Highland Park’s Dark Origins was a hugely divisive bottling when it came out. A relatively expensive whisky without an age statement, slightly over the top packaging and a dubious backstory. I still think the illustration of Magnus Eunson on the tube looks naff, but overall, it’s aged surprisingly well. I feels like more of a bargain now than when it was released. Well worth a punt if you can find it at a reasonable price.

  5. Oldpultnie scored this whisky 76 points Connoisseur

    10 rates 90 - 94. There must be something very wrong with me.
    • Nose
      Light smoke and some chocolate but with a completely different sherry influence TMHO. Not as light, pleasant and sweet. There's also that nuttiness in here but it hides away deeper down in musty dungeon. (Dark Origin ?)
    • Taste
      I'm not that impressed by the taste either. There are decent NAS whiskies but this is not one of them. Harsh, spicy, unbalanced and too much bitterness. Sorry this is not my cup of tea and a completely personal opinion.
    • Finish
      Short and something to forget as quick as possible.

  6. maltaholic did not rate this whisky Connoisseur

    By Serge 

    Highland Park ‚Dark Origins‘ (46.8%, OB, +/-2016): 87 Punkte

  7. mr.p9 scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      86 86

  8. AdelphosHume scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    An intriguing version of Highland Park spirit. The taste has a wonderful pace, and each flavor profile is well integrated without dominating. It's matured using 80% first fill sherry casks, and the commitment to quality definitely shows. 
    • Nose
      Cereal notes, floral, bitter cherries, and dry leaves.
    • Taste
      Sweet peat, sea spray, vanilla.

      Chocolate with peat
    • Finish
      Floral chocolate (orange blossom dark chocolate cordials) gives way to peated honey.

  9. wisekycourse scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    sweet sherry, honey, spices, fine smoke more toasted, caramel, sweetness in the mouth!
    the candied fruit slightly macerated in return.
    • Nose
      84 84
    • Taste
      87 87
    • Finish
      86 86

  10. Whisky Hamster scored this whisky 85 points Expert Senior

    Sherried NAS HP, not the most elegant or complex malt, but overall very decent, clean sherry, and the 46,8% are becoming.


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