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Tasting Highland Park ‘St. Magnus’ 12 year old

15 February 2011 1,923 views Written by: Gal Granov

Last year when the ‘Earl Magnus’ 15 year old whisky was released by HP, i was very keen on getting it, and fortunately got hold of a bottle (sans the wooden box, which made the package lighter to send over the pond). The entire EM stock was sold out in less than a day on LFW, and as much as i like the 15 year old, it’s not a classic HP at all, and i find myself visiting it rarely (we did sample it again a month or so back on our HP summit). When St. Magnus was released, i debated with myself whether to shell out a whopping 86 quid (before shipping) for a 12 year old (even thought it’s bottled at a nice 55% ABV). I decided not to, and watching by the stocks still available on many online whisky shops, most people didn’t think this one is a great deal at that price, as it’s still available a few weeks after the Initial release and not out of stock like it’s older brother. My good whisky friend and WI member, Igal T, did get for this bottle (after missing out on the EM, by a few hours) , and was kind enough  to bring this one with him to one of our informal meetings at Richard’s. I was not expecting much , but when i did samples it then, it blew my mind. It was “The” dram of the night (well, it didn’t have a lot of competition, only two very nice Japanese whiskies – a Suntory Hibiki 12, and Nikka 12). I really liked it back then, and took a wee samples home (thanks again, Igal!) to review it in a more relaxed manner. Here goes:

Highland Park  St. Magnus 12 yo , 55% ABV , £86 (available here)

highland-park-saint-magnus-whisky

Nose: Sweet and peat. Big prunes, dates and dried fruit. honey, date honey (Silan), also some cherry notes.

Palate: Big impact. Wood,spice, the dried fruits. quite spicy, chilly on the sides, sherry, and smoke , peat. this is one of the more peaty HPs I’ve had. very enjoyable. well made, complex, and yummy. Bring me more. i am in love.

Finish : milk chocolate mixed with spice (think Cinnamon, with a capital C), wood and some bitter cocoa.

Bottom line:

A true Ace. This one is a really really good 12 year old, a lot of sherry, and the smoke/peat combination is much bigger than other OB Highland Parks. IMHO, this is better than the EM 15, yet as far as price is concered, i do think it should be priced around 60-70 quid and not at 86… If you can get hold of one, BUY.

Score : 93 / 100

 

 

 

here is a video By Brand Ambassador Gerry Tosh tasting and talking about this one. Very nice.

Slainte!

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  • http://twitter.com/ScotchHobbyist Scotch Hobbyist

    Great review, Gal. I always enjoy Gerry Tosh’s videos as well. I think I’ve held out about as long as I can, and I’m going to have to open my bottle of this soon.

    I look forward to comparing it to the sample of Hjarta that I think you sent me.

    Cheers,
    Jeff

    • http://www.whiskyisrael.co.il Gal(WhiskyIsrael)

      Thanks Jeff,
      those 2 are quite different.
      I prefer the SM… would love to read your comaprison.

      G