Review #100: Highland Park 30

Wow, finally: our 100th review! I’m pretty sure we have tasted over 1,000 whiskies by this point, but we have posted only a fraction of the whiskies. In our whisky alone, we have only posted probably a quarter (at best) of reviews on the whiskies.

Better late than never, eh?

For this review, we wanted to do something fancy. We joked around about doing it instead on Johnny Walker Red label, but it’s a bit more fun to take tasting notes on the HP30 instead.

The bottle was a Christmas gift by a friend and colleague of Michael’s. The friend had first tried the HP30 at a boogie Silicon Valley poker match. Someone brought over an insane whisky collection for a tasting during that match. In typical Silicon Valley fashion, however, the attendees still needed to fork over $60 for the food.

We ended up doing the HP 30 in a very fancy flight: Bruichladdich 25, Bruichladdich 1990, and Highland Park 30 rounding it out. At first, the cask strength Bruichladdich ruined our palate for the softer HP30, but it got better with every sip. It’s a very complex dram (the nose alone is mouthwatering), but it does show its age; it tastes a bit past its prime and over-woody. Full review after the photos!

The epic flight: Bruichladdich 1990, Bruichladdich 25, and Highland Park 30
Highland Park 30


Nose: Saaaalt. Caramel extract, rich mahogany. A bit like a Kavalan nose. Ripe apples and bright cherry. Palate: Strong sweetness. Chocolate, caramels, and peaches filtered through limestone. Oak, candied apples, pine cones, and wood chips. Very pretty. A bit of caramel extract astrigency, gummy candy, rounded tannins.

Overall: 8/10. Really great. Just a bit on the over-woody side. Bought for: ~$1,000

Quick overview of our scoring system

Additional Information

  • Second oldest core expression of Highland Park
  • Matured in refill sherry seasoned casks
  • ABV: 45.7%
  • 30 years
  • Still: Pot still
  • Mash bill: Malted barley


  • Aged in refill sherry casks rather than first fill due to the overly oaked flavors that a first fill would have imparted for such a long maturation
  • Highland Park is not from the Scottish Highlands, but from the isle of Orkney. Its name comes from the area in Orkney from whence it hails: it was founded on an area called “High Park”, which distinguished it from the lower neighboring area.

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