Rounding out our Highland Park series is the famed 18 year old. There’s lots of hype surrounding this readily available single malt Scotch. It steadily receives high marks and praise from whisky experts and enthusiasts alike. HP 18 is bottled at 43% abv and can usually be found for around $130.
On the nose, I get dried fruit and sherry notes upfront. Hiding just past that is sweet malt, honey, heather & floral peat, and a nice candied orange peel. The whisky is rich and refined. A fresh citrus note hits my tongue first, followed by honey, dried fruit, sweet peat, and a small herbal note. There is a lot going on here, but it doesn’t seem busy. In fact, the flavors here play off each other, instead of against each other. The sweet citrus/malt note carries over into the long finish, with just a touch of smokiness. After a while, the finish becomes dry, inviting you to take another sip.
Overall, Highland Park is my favorite of the lot. It has a nice balance of sherry cask influence, fruit, malt and heather peat. Much richer than the 15-year-old expression, Highland Park 18-year-old offers a better whisky experience, in my opinion. Very highly recommended.