So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

Highland Park 18 yo 1996/2014 Hunter Laing #10854 vs Highland Park 25 yo 1988 Signatory #716 vs Highland Park 24 yo 1988/2012 Mackillop’s Choice #716

Needs no introduction. Everybody knows Highland Park but go to a BYOB tasting or event and you won’t often find one – everyone’s got their other first choice. Not sure why that is the case, but the distillate is great, the wood management has been very good, and in a pinch it’s more or less the ‘safe’ choice. Deserves more love.

Highland Park 18 yo 1996/2014 Old & Rare Hunter Laing #10854 51.7% – ie also what the old Douglas Laing Platinum Range is now called.


Nose Nose: Wispy smoke, a spade of earth, wet green moss. All ok but now add some floral-honey notes: yellow flowers pollen and runny honey. Maybe some pine wood plus a juniper tartness. Clean washed barley. Tad youngish at 18.

Taste Palate: Rather clean, also good thick grip. Sweet honey, smoke, tonic water. Sour green nuances.

Finish Finish: Medium and warm. Touch of camphor and smoke.


Very decent though not the best Highland Park you can buy nowadays.


Highland Park 24 yo 1988/2012 Mackillop’s Choice #716 50.8%


Nose Nose: Much deeper now. Cracked dry leather, and furniture cream. But also the fresh green sap of broken leaves. And something sweet-cerea-ly like the multi coloured dust from the bottom of a bag of fruit and nut muesli. Quite smoky this one plus prune-y sweetness, a bit of milk chocolate even. Very ‘official bottling’ actually. It’s the sherry and smoke. Rather complex too, develops on dry old wax.

Taste Palate: Sting of smoke and burning grass, must be green grass cos its still sappy. Red and purple juiciness plus one drop medicine, swedish bitters. Wood tannins showing. Quite prune-y on the tongue.

Finish Finish: Long, dry thin smoke, and the aftertaste you get after dried fruit.


Much better. Really coming into it’s prime. I tend to like Highland Park at the 20 plus mark.


Highland Park 25yo 1988 Signatory Vintage #746 53.1%


Nose Nose: The lack of sherry in this one really puts the spirit’s complexity out in the open. Farmy, black earth and clotted roots. But also linseed oil and little oily,camphory medicinal complexities. Broken down picket fences (ok read weatherbeaten white wood) and the buzz of warm clean spices. Also real heather smoke here. The most nakedly complex of the three. This one is great!

Taste Palate: Quite multifaceted, quite smoky, quite a lot of phenolic touches. Farmy side too. Chest rub. Does tend to be all over the place though. Dare I say quite some peat? Some salt, some honey. After a moment, develops on light herbal touches too. Really good.

Finish Finish: Long, smokey phenolic, salty and farmy.



This one reinforces my belief that when stripped down to naked and aged spirit, Highland Park is the better of Edrington’s two major whiskies. This one is a great naked one, and being a Signatory, was also priced very fairly.

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This entry was posted on September 25, 2016 by in Highland Park and tagged .
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