HomeShoppingLifestyleHighland Park 12: A Classic Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Highland Park 12: A Classic Single Malt Scotch Whisky


If you’re a fan of single malt scotch, then Highland Park 12 is a must-try. It has an excellent balance of sweet, smokey, and spicy flavors that make it great for sipping on its own or mixing with other drinks. Highland Park 12 has been around since 1838 and is still one of my favorite single malts today. In this review, we will go over the history and specs of this fine whisky so you know what to expect when you buy your own bottle!

The History of Highland Park 12

Highland Park 12 is a single malt Scotch whisky from the Highland Park distillery. It’s an Islay single malt, meaning it was distilled on one of four islands off the west coast of Scotland: Jura; Mull; Islay and Skye.

Highland Park 12 is also known as Highland Park 40 Year Old Sherry Cask Reserve (40% ABV), as its official name can be rather confusing to those who aren’t familiar with Scotch terminology. The “12” refers to its age–12 years old–and the “reserve” means it’s been aged in sherry casks for some time before bottling (more on that later).

Highland Park 12 Specifications

Highland Park 12 is a single malt Scotch whisky that’s distilled at Highland Park distillery, located on Orkney Island in Scotland. The distillery was founded in 1798 by James Farquharson and has been owned by the Mackenzie family since 1825. The exact date of release for this particular expression is 1999, but more information about it will be provided below.

Highland Park 12 has an ABV (alcohol by volume) level of 46%, which is considered medium-high compared to other whiskies on the market today — especially those labeled as single malts or blends. However, this higher percentage also makes it easier on your wallet compared to some other brands! It comes bottled at 700ml (about 23 ounces).

The Nose (Nos Campha)

  • Smoke: The nose of this whisky is very smoky, with strong peaty notes that are reminiscent of an Islay whisky.
  • Sweetness: There’s also a sweetness to this whisky that I wasn’t expecting–it’s not overpowering and it has more in common with sweet fruit than vanilla or caramel. It reminds me of the raisins you find in a bottle of port wine.
  • Sourness: The sourness comes from oak aging, which gives Highland Park 12 its complex flavor profile (and helps balance out all those other flavors).
  • Spices: There are hints of cinnamon and nutmeg here–the spices add another layer to what would otherwise be just another peaty single malt Scotch whiskey!

Spices and Smoke

  • Spices are present.
  • Smoke is present.
  • Both smoke and spices are present in a balanced way that allows you to taste the whisky’s profile without being overwhelmed by either one of them.
  • If you find yourself tasting more smoke than spice, it might mean that this particular Highland Park 12 has been aged in barrels with too much charring or burning on the inside of them–this will give off an unbalanced amount of smoky flavor at the expense of other aromas like vanilla, caramel and fruit notes (which all come from oak aging). If this happens often when tasting different whiskies from around Scotland or even just different bottles within a single distillery like Highland Park itself then there may be something wrong with their process–or perhaps even just this specific batch! Either way, don’t let it stop you from enjoying yourself; just try another bottle next time around!

The Taste (Tastes Dry)

The taste is dry and smoky, with notes of peat moss, vanilla, and caramel. It’s complex but not too complex; smooth and easy on the palate; long-lasting aftertaste that lingers on your tongue for minutes after each sip.

It’s not too sweet or bitter–it strikes a perfect balance between those two flavors.

Sweetness and Sourness – A Complex Composition

The Highland Park 12 is a complex whisky, with many flavors that are all balanced. It’s one of the best scotches available.

What We Think Of This Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky?

This is a great scotch. It’s full of flavor, complex, and has a lot going on. It’s also an excellent choice for an after-dinner drink or even your first time drinking scotch whisky.

It’s a great scotch that’s full of flavor.

One of the best things about Highland Park 12 is that it’s full of flavor.

Highland Park 12 is a single-malt Scotch whisky, so you know it’s going to be good. But what makes this particular expression stand out? The answer lies in its complexity and depth, which come from years spent aging in oak barrels. The result is a scotch that’s richly flavored but subtle enough to enjoy on its own or mixed into cocktails (like our favorite: The Highland Park Old Fashioned).


We hope you enjoyed reading this review, and are now ready to try out this great scotch yourself! If there’s anything we missed or if you have any questions about Highland Park 12, please leave us a comment below.

Related Post

Latest Post