Highland Park 12 Whisky Tasting Notes

Highland Park 12 is a signature whisky and a popular choice for those seeking an introduction to peated Highland whiskies. (Winner of the Malt of the Month June 2014) Highland Park, founded in 1798, is a renowned distillery in the Orkney Islands. It’s among the few distilleries that continue to use a traditional malting floor, manually handling each batch of malt, making it a highly labor-intensive process. Their 12-year-old expression is matured in a combination of European and American sherry casks, offering a unique and approachable expression of their signature style.

Average retail price $249.00


Highland Park 12 Whisky Tasting Notes


Golden amber orange color, with medium rims that don’t hold for too long and moderate legs.


The nose presents a gentle balance of smoke and sweetness. Light heathery peat mingles with hints of citrus, wood, and spice. Underlying this are notes of malty sweetness, with hints of honey and marmalade. Overall, the aroma gives off a dry sherry with smokey hints, well-balanced and inviting.


The first sip offers a balance of sweet and dry flavors. There’s a slight tingle on the tongue followed by honey and lingering pepperiness. Hints of sea salt and smoke emerge on the swallow, complemented by notes of orange peel, cloves, and cinnamon. The mouthfeel is light to medium-bodied, with a touch of oiliness but not overly heavy.


A medium-length finish with a touch of tannic oak in the aftertaste.

Overall Impression

Highland Park 12 Year Old offers a well-balanced and approachable introduction to peated whisky. The gentle smoke mingles harmoniously with sweet malt, honey, and citrus notes. While the body is lighter, the lingering finish keeps things interesting.


This whisky is a great choice for those curious about peated malts but hesitant about overpowering smoke. Its balanced profile and approachable price point make it a good starting point for exploring Highland whiskies. If you enjoy the balance of smoke and sweetness here, you might want to delve deeper into Highland Park’s older expressions or explore other peated malts from Islay. Check out their offerings here at Highland Park Whisky

No matter your experience level, I encourage you to try Highland Park 12 Year Old and share your tasting experience in the comments below. 


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