Highland Park 18 Year Old

Reviewed by: Nick

Highland Park 18

As whisky fans, we regularly battle to be objective in our tastings to ensure our feelings don’t influence our perceptions of a whisky’s quality. And yet other times we simply say “screw it” and go with our hearts. The Highland Park 18 Year Old has a long list of awards to its name, but for me, it’s a little more special than that.

The distinctive (duck-egg) blue wallpaper gracing the background of our review photos is part of my recently built library (AKA whisky room) in my recently built house. And throughout the exciting building process the Highland Park 18 was there all the way. It was the first bottle cracked under my roof – before the walls were even finished! It was brought out again and shared with m’colleague on the night I moved in. Then at the house warming, surrounded by my best friends, it came out once more and toasted my new abode.

So with all these great feelings associated with the bottle how could I possibly write an objective review? Put simply, I can’t. But you know what? Screw it.

The nose is delightfully coastal and sherried. It is particularly dry, and bursts with raisins, prunes and smoked salmon. A dash of smoke hits you on the palate before quickly subsiding and giving way to grapes, cherries, peppermint and salami. The finish is long and contains an oakiness which calls to mind old wooden furniture.

If I was served this whisky blindly at a tasting then who knows if I would have the same sentiments towards it? What’s important for me is that now I’ve made these associations, I will continue to enjoy this whisky whole heartedly. And maybe you’ll love it too – especially if the happy memories you attach are your own.

★★★★

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9 comments

  1. Funny… I too have an old emotional connect with this whisky. It was one of the early ones that switched me truly ‘on’ to appreciating single malts properly. I have some fabulous memories sharing this over the years with a dear friend. Pity it became much more pricy and tough to find.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Excellent! I just had an absolute stunner recently – Laphroaig 21 year 53.4%, bottle 18 of 750 released in 2008 for the opening of Heathrow T5. Notes coming later but holy moly mother of g@wd it was good!

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  2. I’ve not tried the 18 yo in some time now but the 12 yo was the first whisky that really got me into whisky drinking. Funny that Highland Park seems to produce whiskies that lead to emotional connections!

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  3. In terms of happy memories and associating one particular whisky to a multitude of them, I need to fall back on the class Macallan 12. However, the Highland Park 15 holds a truly special place in my heart as it’s perhaps one of my favourite (if not my favourite) of the range.

    Cheers! – Peat

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