Hello again Scotchit! Today I’ll be reviewing Highland Park 12, a tasty, interesting dram. I picked up my sample in Newfoundland, as the small samples aren’t currently available at the liquor stores I shop at in Ontario. I have to start making room throughout the apartment, as otherwise my various collections of RPG books, alcohol, cooking/baking paraphernalia and other things will eventually land me on Horders. Thus it’s time to start using up some samples.
Price: $67.95 (CAD) in Ontario for a 750ml. I paid $12 for this 50ml sample in Newfoundland.
Colour: Dirty Blonde
Nose: Smoke, dried fruit, ethanol, lemon peel, daisies, banana, maple.
This dram has a huge fruit undertone. Light at first, however it opened up as time went by, with the banana and the maple taking over.
Taste: Blueberry, leather, earth, basil, brown sugar, mandarins, allspice, olive oil.
The fruitiness seems to blend with an Italian-like flavour. It’s quite complex for a 12 year whisky, with different sweetness, fruits and earthiness popping up. The blending is a little odd, though not in that “What the hell am I drinking” way, more in that “Well, this is different” way.
Finish: Smoke, cloves, pear, fruit punch, red chilli flakes, red wine.
I think this Scotch shines with the finish. It’s long, and the smoke and the spice, as well as some of the fruit/red wine lingers nicely. It seems to borrow from other regions and blends together nicely.
Conclusion: The taste would lead you to believe a fruit truck ran into an Eastside Mario’s and the whole thing was set on fire, but not in a “oh damn, I had money in that place” way, more like “What a random group of events” way that leaves you staring and eventually talking to the local news. Seriously though, the taste was a little bit of a let down in that the two ends of the spectrum (the earthiness/Italian and the fruitiness) didn’t come together for me in a cohesive way.
The finish, however, makes up for this over and over, and it’d be a truly easy life is Highland Park 12 was your “worst choice”. I`ll be aiming to find a sample size of the 15 (edit: I have heard skipping the 15 is a good idea, however I’d still like to try it) and the 18 to see if this Italian spice, smoke, and fruit combination grows with age.
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