Highland Park 12 Year
Peated Single Malt — Islands, Scotland
Tasted September 29, 2021
Rating: 12/23 N: Sweet, smoke, faint peat, fruit (mainly apricot), sea spray. Sulphur. The scents aren't the best integrated and there isn't much here suggesting substantial age, but they're quite good. Except for the sulphur. The longer it sits, the more the sulphur builds. A bit of a rotten meatiness comes out too. P: Sweet with a dry, smoky tartness and a peaty bite. Maritime from the sea spray. Clean creek water as well, oddly enough, though it's still a decently full palate. Some vanilla, light caramel, and certainly that apricot from the nose. And sulphur, unfortunately. Fortunately, I don't get that meatiness that I smelled though or an alcohol flavor or harshness, though there is a little bit of a burn here. There is something a bit rich in here though. I'm having trouble naming it. It might be a little nutty (pecan?) with some wood. Some light spices centering around cinnamon. F: Light smoke and peat with a thin sweetness. A bit of wood and definite sulphur. - Conclusion - I'm very disappointed by this. When I first tried it at a bar, I must have had something beforehand that dulled my palate enough so that I couldn't taste the sulphur coming through. I'm not drowning in sulphur here like I am with, say, Clan MacGregor, but it's enough that I would not choose to drink this on a clean palate. Usually when I re-review something I end up scoring it very close to what I did originally. A movement of 2 points happens from time to time, but usually it stays the same as it was before or I had it on the borderline and it moves over to the other side. This is one of the big exceptions; unfortunately this is a far worse spirit than I initially thought. The complexity is solid here, but the flavors individually aren't amazing and the sulphur is too substantial. This really needs more time in the barrel. A 14 is the absolute highest I could go on this because of that sulphur. If it weren't for the sulphur, I might go up to 17 or so. Even with the Sulphur, I would put this above Proper No. Twelve (9). I'm scrounging to find anything remotely similar on my shelf with a low enough rating to compare competitively with this. The Proper No. Twelve is less complex and shows a lot more of the alcohol. Westland Peated (14) is better than this, though it isn't absolutely crushing it. The same is true of Old Pulteney 12. This will be an 11 or 12. I'll give it the 12 because the sulphur can sometimes be drowned by having something else to drink first (and that something else doesn't even necessarily need to be peaty).
40.0 USD per Bottle