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What happened to Highland Park 12 ?
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Crossroads
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2021 9:19 am    Post subject: What happened to Highland Park 12 ? Reply with quote

I bought a bottle of Highland Park 12 last Autumn, the first I had bought for years. Well, I was underwhelmed, to say the least.

I have been drinking this malt since the late Eighties and it used to be easy drinking but wonderfully complex, I particularly liked the rooty heather notes and mix of smoke and honey.
Elements that I like were there, but only just. Jim Murray rates this current 12 as 78 and says ‘ I could weep’ . He blames the casks, which would be logical. The bottle I bought came with a free miniature of one of the new NAS range in a colourful bottle which was very good and reminded me more of the old HP 12. This could have been Dragon Legend, but I can’t be sure. I kept the empty miniature, for reference, meaning to buy a bottle but Mrs Crossroads, very helpfully, binned it.

God bless her.

Anyway, what do you guys think? Why has a big distillery like HP made such an error? Or is this intentional? Has the blend of barrels changed, older whisky perhaps going elsewhere in the range? I would be interested in your views.
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MattS
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The UK supermarkets have mainly moved to the 10 year old. I don't know if this is price point driven or distillery driven.
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Whisky Rogue
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2021 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my experience Highland Park 12 has varied over the years both in quality and flavour profile due to peating levels and casks used for maturation but it has always remained a fair enough price for what they offer. I havent tried the 10 year old but i wont be surprised if we see it take the HP12 price slot then they bump up the price of the 12.
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ralfy legend
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2021 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 12 has definitely changed with it seeming week and lacking its profile, I’ve tried the 10 and it’s not going to blow your mind but I enjoyed it , it’s a daily sipper, it’s 40% so like I say it will not blow you away.
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Crossroads
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2021 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all for your replies.
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MattS
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2021 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've not tried either of the following but maybe someone can comment on either as alternatives to the 12 or the 10?

Amazon HP Vikiing Tribe 46% and sometimes drops below £30

Crabbie 12 43% also goes sub £30 and said to be a HP
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lincoln imp
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2021 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did this h2h not that long ago HP 12 1979-present, which threw up some interesting results

https://www.scotchmaltwhisky.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8742
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MattS
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2021 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

N&P still have an older 12
https://www.nickollsandperks.co.uk/Highland-Park-12-Year-Old-Old-Bottling-40_1
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lincoln imp
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2021 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MattS wrote:
N&P still have an older 12
https://www.nickollsandperks.co.uk/Highland-Park-12-Year-Old-Old-Bottling-40_1


I would be careful before you purchased this, very often they use old pictures and do not update them, you need to check with N&P first to be sure the bottle in the picture is actually the bottle you will be buying.
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MattS
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2021 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lincoln imp wrote:
MattS wrote:
N&P still have an older 12
https://www.nickollsandperks.co.uk/Highland-Park-12-Year-Old-Old-Bottling-40_1


I would be careful before you purchased this, very often they use old pictures and do not update them, you need to check with N&P first to be sure the bottle in the picture is actually the bottle you will be buying.


Yes, worth checking.
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Crossroads
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2021 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

lincoln imp wrote:
I did this h2h not that long ago HP 12 1979-present, which threw up some interesting results

https://www.scotchmaltwhisky.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8742


A very informative post Lincoln Imp, I read this several times before I made my post here.
A very useful resource. Many thanks.
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lincoln imp
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2021 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crossroads wrote:
lincoln imp wrote:
I did this h2h not that long ago HP 12 1979-present, which threw up some interesting results

https://www.scotchmaltwhisky.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8742


A very informative post Lincoln Imp, I read this several times before I made my post here.
A very useful resource. Many thanks.


Thanks appreciated Crossroads, nothing is too much trouble in the name of whisky research. Smile
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Crossroads
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2021 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I wrote to Highland Park and asked them 'What happened?'

In fairness to them, they replied after a couple of days and they have been very frank with me.The crucial part has been highlighted in bold type by myself. See below for an extract of their email to me -

I can personally assure you there has been no change in the way we make our whisky. Our traditional whisky making techniques remain the same and while there may be some batch to batch variations due to external factors out with our control (climate affecting barley harvest etc.) these should not make a notable difference.

We updated our packaging in 2017 to reflect our strong Viking ancestral roots here on our home of Orkney, something we are very proud of but the whisky remained the same.

It is however worth noting that much older editions of our 12 year old will have a slightly different taste to the modern day version. Back in 1990 when the first bottle was produced, we only had the 12 year old in our portfolio so it would have had access to the full range of maturing stock and would have contained stock significantly older than 12 years. Nowadays, we have a significant number of expressions and have to be much tighter on the use of aged stock and of each cask type to ensure we can supply the growing demand. As such, the age of the 12 year old is much closer to 12 now than it would have been in 1990.

So, there you have it, it used to contain lots of older malts and now it doesn't !

At least they've been honest about it, full credit for that.
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ralfy legend
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2021 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fair play to them but it has changed, it tastes thinner to me , still drinkable but not a patch on others I’ve had .
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