Review #64: Highland Park Full Volume

At some point, we should write up a long post on Highland Park because it is massively popular at our household. It also helps that there are a lot of independent bottlings of the distillery recently (our previous reviews include an excellent Exclusive Regions one and an Archives 15 bottle) thanks in part to the cask sell offs to fund the beautiful Macallan distillery. Until then, it’s going to be a lot of fun tasting and cranking out reviews.

We purchased the Full Volume while visiting family in Boston to stock my father-in-law’s in-progress basement bar. Because of the name, we expected it to be “Highland Park – but Amped Up” but instead, it tasted more muted like a Japanese whisky. Our post-tasting notes research revealed that the whisky was aged in ex-bourbon barrels rather than HP’s signature seasoned sherry casks, which may give some indication of why it did not taste very “Highland Park”.

Pour of the Full volume in a Canadian glencairn (we also had it in regular glencairns)

  • Score - 6.5/10

Tasting Notes

Nose: Honey, heather, slightly smokey, strong vanilla custard develops after smelling for a while. Lemon cream pie. Palate: Reminds us of Suntory Toki. Caramel and vanilla, heather, slight smoked acid (lime and citrus), sweet with just a touch of smoke Finish: Sweet charred smoke at the end Summary Overall: 6.5/10. A good whisky, but we expected more from something called “Highland Park Full Volume” TLDR: Highland Park Stage Whisper Bought for: $85 at Gordon’s Fine Wine and Liquors

Quick overview of our scoring system. Note that we try to give a “5” for an average whisky, which is lower than standard whisky scoring guides (typically around 80).

Additional Information

  • ABV: 47.2%
  • No Age Statement (NAS) but the spirit was distilled in 1999 and bottled in 2017 (as a result, some sites claim it is 17 years)
  • Mashbill: 100% malted barley; dried with peat
  • Barrel: Ex-bourbon barrels and hogsheads

About Highland Park and Full Volume

  • Full Volume was released in 2018 as part of their core range, replacing Dark Origins. The Full Volume was intended to be an analogy to a musical theme that showcases the ability of the head Distiller (Gordon Motion) to achieve “balance” in a whisky into a harmony.
  • During the launch, Highland Park collaborated with songwriter Saul Davies to produce a special piece of music
  • Highland Park represents some of our favorite drams. If you find the Runa (released exclusively for the German market), do not hesitate and buy it!

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