Highland Park Harald

Peated Single Malt

Highland Park // Islands, Scotland

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  1. whiskal

    Tasted
    3.75
    3.75 out of 5 stars
  2. wthomps483

    Tasted
    2.75
    2.75 out of 5 stars
    Found this one in Honduras at the duty free store and since I’m such a fan of Highland Park I figured I’d give this a try. The bottle is mostly empty now and I hadn’t done a review yet because I’ve had such a difficult time placing how much I enjoy it. Anyway, here it goes. Nose: Sweet, vanilla, some ginger, lemon shows up at the end. Palate: At first is some hard hitting crystal sugar sweetness. Something almost like lemongrass comes next. Holding it in my mouth for a few seconds and some bitterness from the wood comes through. Finish: That signature gentle smoke is first up. After that the finish fades rather quickly and leaves you with some bitterness from the wood, but not much. Overall this is middle of the road. Flavors that work well on a hot summer day, but given the price I was expecting more. They say around half the whiskies in the bottle are sherry aged but I never noticed anything that I typically associate with sherry wood aging. Also feel this would benefit from a higher abv, especially on the finish. I would always grab the 12yo over this one given it’s half the price and in my opinion the superior product. Sláinte!
    90.0 USD per Bottle
  3. sowts01

    Tasted
    3.5
    3.5 out of 5 stars
    Sweet jam. Slight peat smoke
  4. afinkelstein34

    Tasted
    3.75
    3.75 out of 5 stars
  5. Red_Dog

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
  6. LeeEvolved

    Tasted
    3.75
    3.75 out of 5 stars
    This is the third, NAS release from Highland Park’s Warrior Series: Harald. This was a 6-bottle collection that was released in 2018 utilizing more of HP’s Viking heritage and marketing fluff. This was aged in European and American oak casks and was bottled at 40%. I believe retail prices are in the $80 range. This was straw gold and very watery. Tons of medium-sized drops and legs circled the Glencairn after a vigorous spin. The nose struck me with lots of butterscotch and vanilla at first. It took a little time before I picked up some light smoke, oak and sherry. It was very closed off for quite some time- I almost gave up and just went for it. You wouldn’t expect to have to give an NAS over 30 minutes to open up, but this needed that and more. Weird. The palate delivered much more smoke than the nose indicated, followed by ripe berries and weak florals. Some black pepper and ginger ushered in the finish and really gave this one some oomph. This was somewhat mouthwatering and oily and that allowed the softer flavors to linger a bit- which was a nice surprise once the spicy bits burned themselves out. I can only imagine how a little bump in ABV would’ve kicked things up a notch. 40% is just playing it safe and stretching product, especially here. The finish was medium-to-long and warming. Those softer flavors continued on until you washed them away. Very nice for an NAS whisky. Thanks to my buddy Paul for sending me a pour and I think this one was much better than the Einar bottle, it just wasn’t as good of a value. This one comes in just shy of 4 stars because I was pleasantly surprised and really enjoyed it. Cheers, my friends.
    83.0 USD per Bottle
  7. Generously_Paul

    Tasted
    3.5
    3.5 out of 5 stars
    Highland Park released their Warrior Series of travel retail exclusive single malts a few years back. There were 6 in all, each named after a famous Viking warrior or ruler. 4 of them were very reasonable priced, the other 2 not so much. I reviewed #2, Einar, a while back and remember it being pretty good so I picked up #3, Harald. Each one in the series uses a different proportion of American and European oak as well as first and refill casks. This one is 50/50 first/refill casks and roughly 50/50 American/European oak. Bottled at 40% ABV and is chill filtered and a natural golden color. The first few pours from the bottle were fairly boring in the nose with not much going on. Some weak notes of lemon, honey and creamy vanilla with some light peat smoke. Sawdust, cigarette ashes. After the bottle oxidized however, things really improved. Sherry notes, toffee, caramel and some pecans. Orchard fruits of peaches, apples, pears. Cherry blossoms and sandalwood at times which gave it a Japanese feel. What came next was a bit of a surprise, an explosion of berry flavors. Raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries. Next came chocolate and lots of fudge. Hazelnut, walnuts and more caramel with a hint of coffee. Grassy at times. Things kept changing around on me and no real clarity came as to what kind of whisky this was trying to be. Mostly it was good though. The palate went through the same changes. Fairly light at first, vanilla and lemon citrus. A dry sooty peat and a bit tannic. After enough time and air in the bottle things really improved. It became quite fruity with pineapple, mango, papaya, apricots and apples. Malty, barley sugar, ginger and clove. Puffs of smoke, fudge, dried strawberries and honey. A light bodied mouthfeel that is thin but creamy, a bit dry. The finish was medium length, tannic, light sherry, nutty, strawberries, apple skins and dry. I have to say that at first this was a pretty poor example of a Highland Park. Not much of anything going on and if I had rated it then it would have been a 2.5. Once the bottle got some air in it I was amazed at the changes. Huge fruity notes one day, fudgy another day. It turned out to be a pretty decent malt. Not a terrible price, $60 for 700mL (Einar I think was $45 for 1L and the better of the 2 in quality). Still I mostly enjoyed this one and will score it a 3.5. Cheers
    60.0 USD per Bottle
  8. Nikolas-Stathopoulos

    Tasted
    3.5
    3.5 out of 5 stars
  9. mjskenney

    Tasted
    4.5
    4.5 out of 5 stars
  10. LJ-Whisky

    Tasted
    3.5
    3.5 out of 5 stars
    Highland Park Harald is one of six in the Warrior series. The employee at the airport who let me have a taste said this was one of the smokier ones. I can't confirm or deny that until I've tasted more in the series, but it definitely has smoke although balanced. The nose is mild with clear berry notes coming through. The distiller says strawberries and I can agree on that spectrum, fruity at least! Rather pleasant. On the palate the fruits are still there and lasting, round to the feel with just a hint of Sherry who brings a dash of tannins for a dry intro to the finish. Speaking of the finish, you get some peat smoke which is gentle still, ending with floral notes that are mild, rather than perfumed. The burn is there but not overwhelming. This is a no age statment dram at 40% ABV. It will be interesting to compare to other Highland Parks like the 18yo or perhaps Viking Pride (46% ABV). Instagram: Mr.LJWhisky
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