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Thursday 20 December 2012

18 Under 30 Part 15: Highland Park 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky (Oh! And our mailing list)

Oi! You! At the back! Can you still hear me? Good. We're nearing the end of our series of 18 great booze related products for under £30 and we finish our final four on three bottles of whisky and the obligatory Christmas book.

However, for a moment let me draw your attention to something that is totally, 100% free. And that is our mailout. All you need to do is stick your email address in the box to the right

and whenever we write a tasty little morsel of a post, it'll be emailed to you at 7pm (GMT) each day, fresh for you to read at your leisure; be that with a dram at home or on the way to / from work the following day.

But back to the whisky. The next three days will see us recommend our last three whiskies for under £30 and as we close in on Christmas we bring you two classics in quick succession.

The first is a must have if you're putting together a whisky cabinet for the first time. The Highland Park 12 is your introduction to island whiskies: once you're involved, it'll have you pushing for more and more expensive expressions of HP (the 18 Year Old is sublime and, personally, I have just added a third whisky to my Christmas collection of drinkers, the 21 Year Old at 40% ABV) as well opening you up to the delights of peated whisky. Not as heavy going as some of the booze from Islay, this is the delicate introduction to that world.

Highland Park - 12 Year Old- 40% vol - 70cl

Nose: Immediate wafts of brown sugar, lavender, parma violets, some waxy, cloudy honey and pencil shavings. Depth beyond its relatively young 12 years.

Palate: Something earthy and very woody- definite influence of sherry casks with a slight charcoal note coming through. Next, hints of sweet malty cereal make themselves apparent, and a richer creamy note similar to malted milk biscuits. Something quite moreish about this flavour, that's for sure.

Finish: Back to the wood and some dark lingering bitter coffee notes on the death. quite lengthy, with a hint of dryness.

Overall: The 12 year old represents a fine standard as the entry level HP on the block. It has enough refinement to stand up to some of it's older contemporaries and demonstrates just where the range is heading. Superb.

For a whisky under £30, this bottle is a must. As for the second, well, you'll have to wait until tomorrow to find out what that is...

Under £30 here and here