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Balvenie 15, Highland Park 15

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Balvenie 15, Highland Park 15

Postby clicker7 » Sun Oct 21, 2007 11:41 pm

Hi All:

I am considering adding Balvenie 15, and HP 15 to my cupboard, but would like some of your opinions/tastings on either.

I enjoy and always stock HP 12, Balvenie DW, and wonder if the 15's are similar.... I like a honey or sherried dram.

Anyone like the 15's?

Thanks,
Joseph
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Re: Balvenie 15, Highland Park 15

Postby K-Mile » Mon Oct 22, 2007 12:45 am

I can't tell for sure, because I haven't had the 15yo, but it seems that the HP 12 and HP 18 are quite similar, only the 18yo has a lot more depth to it.

As far as I've heard, both are much better than the 15. I don't know what your budget is, but if you like the 12 years old Highland Park, the 18 years old is absolutely amazing. Great dram, very rich and powerfull (honey, yes! sherry, yes!), but the same taste 'profile' as the 12yo.

Don't know about Balvenie, haven't had the pleasure of trying that yet.
Sorry for not answering your question :headbang:
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Re: Balvenie 15, Highland Park 15

Postby Reggaeblues » Mon Oct 22, 2007 11:00 am

Haven't tried or heard amazing things about HP 15, but Balvenie 15 probably my favourite and most distinctive Balvenie...and each batch is slightly different. I've had 3 over the years - the 50.4% version being exceptional, and the follow up rather drier, but v. tasty. Not as "honeyed" as its forerunner.
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Re: Balvenie 15, Highland Park 15

Postby clicker7 » Mon Oct 22, 2007 9:10 pm

Thanks gentlemen:

I have not been able to read or hear very much about HP 15, just a couple mentions in the archives.
If any out there can offer their tastings or opinions on this I would appreciate it.

Thanks again,
Joseph
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Re: Balvenie 15, Highland Park 15

Postby jimidrammer » Wed Oct 24, 2007 4:36 pm

The HP15 sits squarely between the 12 & 18, as you would expect. It has a little less smoke and a bit more complexity than the 12, but lacks some of the refinement of the 18. It's a very good bottle worth exploring in the range. The Balvenie 15 has been a favorite of mine, with robust flavors of oak, fruit and spice. IMHO the Balvenie 15 is miles ahead of the DW12. The 17yo Limited Editions New Wood/New Oak releases are both good also. In my experience 15 years is a key age for most Single Malts.
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Re: Balvenie 15, Highland Park 15

Postby Reggaeblues » Wed Oct 24, 2007 6:56 pm

Jimi wrote: "IMHO the Balvenie 15 is miles ahead of the DW12. "

Agreed.
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Re: Balvenie 15, Highland Park 15

Postby Sherried Malt » Wed Oct 24, 2007 10:22 pm

I once had the opportunity to try the HP 12, 15 and 18 side by side one evening and the 15 was clearly inferior to both the 12 and 18. If I didn't know what it was, I would've thought it was from another distillery or a very young bottling (i.e., before the 12 gained any maturity or complexity.) YMMV...

Sorry I can't help on the Balvenie 15.
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Re: Balvenie 15, Highland Park 15

Postby Elagabalus » Thu Oct 25, 2007 1:09 am

I have heard that the Balvenie 15 is quite different from it's 10 and 12 year old brothers. As I haven't yet sampled the 15, I cannot comment. Anyone know if this is true?
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Re: Balvenie 15, Highland Park 15

Postby clicker7 » Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:20 am

Thank you gentlemen, I appreciate your comments.

From your input, I will probably stay clear of the HP 15, and stick with the HP 12 & 18.

It sounds like the Balvenie 15 is worth a try.

Jsoeph
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Re: Balvenie 15, Highland Park 15

Postby Elagabalus » Sat Oct 27, 2007 6:59 pm

The Balvenie 15 is indeed different from the 10, and 12.
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Re: Balvenie 15, Highland Park 15

Postby clicker7 » Sat Oct 27, 2007 7:15 pm

Elagabalus wrote:The Balvenie 15 is indeed different from the 10, and 12.


Elagabalus:

In what way is the 15yr different. Balvenie 10 and 12 have their Vanilla, honey, sherry, citrus, palate... does the 15yr differ from that?

Thanks
Stephen
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Re: Balvenie 15, Highland Park 15

Postby WestVanDave » Sat Oct 27, 2007 7:41 pm

clicker7 wrote:
Elagabalus wrote:The Balvenie 15 is indeed different from the 10, and 12.


Elagabalus:

In what way is the 15yr different. Balvenie 10 and 12 have their Vanilla, honey, sherry, citrus, palate... does the 15yr differ from that?

Thanks
Stephen


The 15 is a single cask bottling - not chill-filtered - and typically a higher ABV... (I've had expressions in the 47 ~ 51% range).

It is not "finished" like the 12 Double-Wood - so it's full of bourbon barrel character (vanilla, clean wood notes, less sweet than a typical sherry, many layers of flavour and loads of malt).

Although they vary batch to batch - the Balvenie 15 is a fantastic example of the quality and skill of the distillery and David Stewart.
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Re: Balvenie 15, Highland Park 15

Postby pmullin » Sat Oct 27, 2007 8:09 pm

Elagabalus wrote:I have heard that the Balvenie 15 is quite different from it's 10 and 12 year old brothers. As I haven't yet sampled the 15, I cannot comment. Anyone know if this is true?


It is indeed quite different.

At a local vertical tasting of the Balvenie range, it stood out quite a bit from the others. We tried the Founder's Reserve 10, Doublewood 12, Single Cask 15, Portwood 21, Balvenie 30, Vintage 1971 34yo and Vintage 1967 33yo.

The 15 actually ranked sixth out of seven in my scores, which were in line with the overall group.

However, given that it is a single cask bottling, we may have had a bottle from a less than great cask, or maybe it was the fact that that particular expression deviated quite a bit from the "house style" that was apparent in all the others (not to say that they were all the same).
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Highland Park 15

Postby clicker7 » Thu Nov 01, 2007 3:32 am

Hi All:

This afternoon I found a bottle of Highland Park 15 --rare around Seattle. I am working on my third large dram, and I am finding it very nice indeed. I think it's a bit smoother, sweeter, and more complex than the HP12 .

Jimidrammer, you were right, this is worth a try. I agree it falls between the 12, and the 18.

A few notes-- if any are interested:

Nose: Honey, fruit, heather, little peat, little smoke.

Palate: Medium body -- Very smooth, honey, smoke, little peat, little drying on the finish with a little pepper, and chocolate. Very complex.

I really like this-- I just tried a H2H with the 12, and the 15 seems a little bigger all around.

Anyone else there like the HP 15?

Cheers all, and thanks again for your notes, and comments!

Joseph
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Re: Highland Park 15

Postby K-Mile » Thu Nov 01, 2007 9:29 pm

clicker7 wrote:Hi All:

This afternoon I found a bottle of Highland Park 15 --rare around Seattle. I am working on my third large dram, and I am finding it very nice indeed. I think it's a bit smoother, sweeter, and more complex than the HP12 .

Jimidrammer, you were right, this is worth a try. I agree it falls between the 12, and the 18.

A few notes-- if any are interested:

Nose: Honey, fruit, heather, little peat, little smoke.

Palate: Medium body -- Very smooth, honey, smoke, little peat, little drying on the finish with a little pepper, and chocolate. Very complex.

I really like this-- I just tried a H2H with the 12, and the 15 seems a little bigger all around.

Anyone else there like the HP 15?

Cheers all, and thanks again for your notes, and comments!

Joseph


Thanks for your notes Joseph, sounds like a lighter version of my notes for the 18.. Seems to fit quite nicely between the 12 and 18. I had those two, but not the 15 yet, but I'm not sure if the difference is enough to justify getting all three of them.. Might get only the 15, or the 12 and 18..
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Re: Balvenie 15, Highland Park 15

Postby Mccandless1 » Thu Nov 01, 2007 9:38 pm

Balvenie's are ace whiskys...i went to the distillery on the advanced tour...what an ace place. If u like BV's id get the 21yo Portwood as it leaves all others behind including the 30yo. I got one at £50 in Abbdeen' Aport as aposed to the £71 in msot shops. Otherwise id get the 12yo Doublewood honey smooth one fantastic whisky and widley available.
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Re: Balvenie 15, Highland Park 15

Postby Elagabalus » Mon Nov 05, 2007 12:14 am

I haven't had a Balvenie in quite a while. I want some. Sadly in Ontario the LCBOs close at 5pm so I will have to wait until tomorrow. :evil:
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Re: Balvenie 15, Highland Park 15

Postby Reggaeblues » Tue Nov 06, 2007 5:50 pm

Yesterday me mum proudly revealed a bottle of HP15 - she had procured for £14 from the cash n' carry! She always makes sure there's "something special" for my visits...

So, I had me a couple of drams. My overall, or immediate impression is "HP lite!" it seemed pleasant enough, with familiar notes, but somehow lacked the richness of the HP 12. When I came home I had a mere sip of some HP 18 i currently have open. i have to say the 18 blew it away! Instantly , it had much more depth.

I shall look forward to another dram, another visit. I have found that HP is one whisky that improves as the bottle gets consumed, so maybe this will hold true for the 15.

But , on first impression, I can see why it has never quite caught on like its siblings.

Comparing 15 year olds. I MUCH prefer the Balvenie, but , perhaps it's an unfair comparison, as the B15 is single cask and considerably higher ABV.
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Re: Balvenie 15, Highland Park 15

Postby K-Mile » Tue Nov 06, 2007 8:09 pm

I haven't tried it yet, but it seems like the HP 15 fails to combine the best traits of the 12yo and 18yo. It doesn't have the richness that makes the 18yo great, but also is not as fresh that turns the 12yo in an enjoyable dram (when I compare the above observations of the 15 with my own of the 12 and 18..)
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Re: Balvenie 15, Highland Park 15

Postby Stewart » Tue Mar 30, 2010 6:32 am

Just got Highland Park 15. LOVE IT! Very sexy! So, maybe HP 12 is more linear to me compared to the 15--the 12 is excellent, and I love that too (also tried the 18--excellent, though I think I like the 12 better than the 18, as the 12 has more youth, is more lively, and has more smoke or fire, while there's no denying the 18 is more smooth and mature). But the 15 is very chewy--yes, there's the honey sweetness, some salt and a hint of peat (less than the 12)--and the 15 also tastes like it has a bit of a milk chocolate note, more full, and the extra 3 years do add some maturity and rounding. At first taste, I think I even prefer the 15 to the 18. The 15 and the 12 get an equal rating from me so far. It's nice to enjoy both and enjoy the characteristics and balance of each. Another post to come with full notes. Highland Park is quite a house!
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Re: Balvenie 15, Highland Park 15

Postby lockejn » Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:38 pm

Stewart wrote:Just got Highland Park 15. LOVE IT! Very sexy! So, maybe HP 12 is more linear to me compared to the 15--the 12 is excellent, and I love that too (also tried the 18--excellent, though I think I like the 12 better than the 18, as the 12 has more youth, is more lively, and has more smoke or fire, while there's no denying the 18 is more smooth and mature). But the 15 is very chewy--yes, there's the honey sweetness, some salt and a hint of peat (less than the 12)--and the 15 also tastes like it has a bit of a milk chocolate note, more full, and the extra 3 years do add some maturity and rounding. At first taste, I think I even prefer the 15 to the 18. The 15 and the 12 get an equal rating from me so far. It's nice to enjoy both and enjoy the characteristics and balance of each. Another post to come with full notes. Highland Park is quite a house!

Wow, I'm glad I'm not the only one! My impressions of the trio are very similar.
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Re: Balvenie 15, Highland Park 15

Postby Stewart » Thu Apr 01, 2010 5:16 am

Hey, glad to know of another fan, lockejn!

HIGHLAND PARK 15

COLOR: Amber
NOSE: apples, butterscotch, slight peat warmth, poundcake with a bit of chocolate frosting, slightest hint of sherry
BODY: medium, rich, smooth, buttery
PALATE: moderately salty, balanced with slight chocolatey sweetness (dark semisweet honey), the slight warmth of peat, some oakiness in the background with a whisper of sherry and orange behind the oak.
FINISH: long. Salt and small peat embers fade slowly from the tongue, with the brush of oak trailing.

A few drops of water reduce the complexity, though the oak is still evident.

Side by side with Highland Park 12, the 12 is more lively, with more fire, more salty, less sweet and less round. The 12 is a comparative youngster but also a young champion, young alpha male, while the 15 has calmed down somewhat but still has sexy vigor, and the depth and breadth of extra aging.

I think the 12 edges the 15 just slightly, but I find both top notch. The 12 has more of the trademark Highland Park taste and identity, while the 15 has the same father but a more soulful mother. BOTH are delicious and equal to the occasion. I'm glad I bought the 15 and will definitely buy another; you know you want another helping when you keep smelling the bottom of the empty glass!
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Re: Balvenie 15, Highland Park 15

Postby Drammed » Thu Apr 01, 2010 8:34 pm

Balvenie 15. They should bottle all there expressions at a higher abv like this one. Lip smacking good!

HP 15 is not like the 12 or 18 as already said. I get a kind of Oban-ish taste to it. Nothing to noteworthy.

cheers
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Re: Balvenie 15, Highland Park 15

Postby supersinglemalts » Fri Apr 09, 2010 12:16 am

There are discussions here about the 12, 15 and 18 year olds, how does the 16 fit in?
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