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Highland Park 25 - thoughts...

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Highland Park 25 - thoughts...

Postby dcb » Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:17 pm

So I finished a major personal project this past spring and finally opened the HP25 I was saving for the occasion. I've now finished the bottle, which was the 50.7% ABV (I think) in the old dumpy style bottle. I'm not a writer of tasting notes, but I want to comment at least a little on how I feel about it. I enjoyed it but was otherwise pretty underwhelmed.

This was the most I've ever spent on a bottle, but I do feel I got this for a relatively decent price (about 190 USD). I'm a huge fan of the 12 and I LOVE the 18, which is what I'm getting at: I like the 18 far more than I did the 25. Despite the various flavors and HP profile I know and enjoy, for some reason the 25 was surprisingly harsh, and I regularly drink bourbons that are much higher proof than this 25yr HP. I've read here and there that some scotch doesn't 'do well' at higher proof and I think I understand now. Even my wife thought it basically burned going down, more so than even the standard wild turkey 101 that we both drink neat all the time.

I'll say again that I did like it; it was a delicious bottle and adding a touch of water seemed to smooth it out a bit but I guess I was expecting something more impressive than the HP18. And something smoother at a mere 101.4 proof. After finishing my first healthy pour, my throat felt dried out (like it does after sipping on George Stagg bourbon). I was briefly disappointed but quickly said f-it and poured another; I was celebrating after all.

Overall, I'm happy to have tried an old HP but will be content knowing I can treat myself to less expensive bottles and know I will love everything about it (the 18).

And a few nights ago I opened a Lag16 for the first time in a year and was reminded how perfect that whisky is. :thumbsup:
cheers.
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Re: Highland Park 25 - thoughts...

Postby Novice Scotch Fan » Wed Jul 01, 2009 3:35 am

I have had the HP 25 several times and actually like it more than the 18. At a recent scotch tasting, a HP representative was present and he insisted that a drop or two of water was necessary with the 18. So, your impression of the helpful quality of water smoothing it out about bit may be well founded.

I cannot agree with your statement that it is a bit "harsh."

For me it is a real treat. Mind you, I think the majority of people on this site prefer the 18 to the 25 for two reasons: (1) flavor profile (2) value for money/price.
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Re: Highland Park 25 - thoughts...

Postby Ardbeg311 » Wed Jul 01, 2009 11:29 am

I would have to be counted among those who think the HP 25 is better than the 18yo and also counted among an even smaller group that thinks it is a lot better. I have had 2 of the OB HP 25, a dumpy bottle (can't remember if it was the 50.7% edition, but it came in a black round wooden box) and the new flat bottle at 48.1%. The flat bottle was so good it remains among the top 5 HP's I have had to date. With the exception of the 'Bicentenary' (43%), all the Highland Parks I have enjoyed most have been at cask strength. Without a doubt though the taste-price ratio of the 18yo makes it a terrific value.
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Re: Highland Park 25 - thoughts...

Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:39 pm

Maybe it was the high ABV that has not agreed with you and you should be diluting it more with water. The HP18 is only 43% so you should be adding about 15-20% extra water to get the 25yo on a par with the 18yo.

I too am one of those who think the 25 is better than the 18 by a long shot. I actually put the 12 over the 18 also but not by much.
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Re: Highland Park 25 - thoughts...

Postby Ganga » Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:41 pm

I'm with Ardbeg. I much prefer the 25. And with the price of the 18 going up, may consider it a better buy too. As a matter of fact, the recent 18s haven't been quite as good...to the point that I would rather have the 12. :shock: Unfortunately, I prefer the 30 to the 25. :dead:
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Re: Highland Park 25 - thoughts...

Postby Novice Scotch Fan » Thu Jul 02, 2009 2:06 am

Ganga wrote:I'm with Ardbeg. I much prefer the 25. And with the price of the 18 going up, may consider it a better buy too. As a matter of fact, the recent 18s haven't been quite as good...to the point that I would rather have the 12. :shock: Unfortunately, I prefer the 30 to the 25. :dead:


I find the HP 12 is improving signficantly over the last couple of years. Maybe the 18 is the same but the 12 is on the move.
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Re: Highland Park 25 - thoughts...

Postby lincoln imp » Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:47 pm

The HP 25 is a much vaunted dram on here, especially at 50.7% strength but i agree with you it is a bit harsh. I also agree the 18 is excellent value.
I tried the 50.7% and it reminded me of Royal Lochnagar Selected Reserve. Try and buy a mini of the 30yr HP for a taster. I have just finished afull bottle :cry: and it is excellent, imho much better the the 50.7 and probably more suited to your palate by the sounds of it. I am currently half way through a Bicentenary Reserve 43% which is another fantastic HP.
Its a shame that the older HP`s are now sadly out of my price range but for the money you cannot fault the 18. :thumbsup:
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Re: Highland Park 25 - thoughts...

Postby Jobi » Thu Jul 09, 2009 2:10 am

dcb wrote:I was expecting something more impressive than the HP18. And something smoother...


I think the HP 30 is what you're looking for. It's fantastic. I have a bit left and could send you a 30 ml sample if you would like to try it.
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Re: Highland Park 25 - thoughts...

Postby Novice Scotch Fan » Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:46 pm

irishwhiskeychaser wrote:Maybe it was the high ABV that has not agreed with you and you should be diluting it more with water. The HP18 is only 43% so you should be adding about 15-20% extra water to get the 25yo on a par with the 18yo.

I too am one of those who think the 25 is better than the 18 by a long shot. I actually put the 12 over the 18 also but not by much.


I agree that adding water might be the solution. In my earlier post in this thread i said that the HP rep was insistent on adding a drop or two to the 18 and what i meant was the 25. That being said I have enjoyed this neat repeatedly.
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