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Highland Park 12 Year Old - Viking Honour

(70cl, 40%)

Highland Park 12 Year Old - Viking Honour

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Highland Park 12yo Bottling Note

Highland Park's spectacular 12 Year Old expression had a full-on Viking make-over in 2017, dubbed Viking Soul (the 18 Year Old is also getting a redesign, too). Stylish new livery and matching sub-name (Viking Honour) aside, the Orcadian single malt remains the same - delicious as ever!

Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt

Nose: Fresh, clean and very aromatic. Floral notes abound the senses with a light grassiness. Notes of creamy Manuka honey and a touch of juicy citrus with cream and a well-balanced sweetness.

Palate: Rather full with a pleasant depth. Lurking somewhere in the substratum a grilled orange lies. Notes of granary toast and green tea with jasmine. A touch of sweetness.

Finish: Quite long with peppery spice and wood shavings.

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Highland Park 12 Year Old - Viking Honour Reviews

a shame

the old 12 year old is what got me I to whisky. Easily discernible and pleasant honey taste with a lingering smoke finish. I went on and tried other whiskies but still enjoyed the HP.

This version seems to have substituted taste for marketing blurb on the box. Its not bad, but the key flavours now seem reduced and a spirit type flavour is more pronounced.

Its OK, but a real shame my reliable go to whisky is no more!

19th September 2020

Fine, but too subtle.

Never tried a Highland Park before and this was on offer. I was expecting something a little smokier, but the notes here are pretty accurate, but it is quite subtle in every aspect. Quite drinkable but lacks any real depth. Very subtle sherry and fruit, incredibly light. Pretty mediocre all round. Nice but can't say anything more...

13th September 2020

A whisky for relaxing

Im not an educated whisky taster. I only recently started drinking whisky so still have a lot to try and learn. At the moment I try a whisky, I either like it or i dont. This whisky i do like, its easy to drink, no harshness. Could easily sit and enjoy whilst relaxing. Not a special occasion whisky, just a finished work, had a long day, feel like a dram. Great whisky for the price

23rd August 2020

Oh come on, really?

In reading many of these "reviews" all I can do is shake my head. We all have our particular tastes and for many it is really great for some it tastes awful. I like it, it is a nice bottle for a low price. Is it as good as say a HP 18 or HP Dark 17 year old? No but it is also a fraction of the price. If you want better, spend more money. If you are fine with a nice bottle of scotch that satisfies this is a good bottle for that.

21st August 2020

Awful dram, at all times.

Ignore the GOLD medals - they mean nothing. JW Red also got a Gold medal from the 'judges' - in fact all JW whiskies won medals. So this HP viking honour is on the same level as JW Red, and that's about right.

Thin, watery, NO WAY does it taste like a 12 y/o. Ask yourself why it sells so cheaply & supermarkets have to discount it to make a sale?

Gotta laugh at people who pretend its good.

5th August 2020

Divides the crowds here, as it did me on my first try.

Tried one in an pub and decided never to buy a whole bottle and end it there. Fast forward a year or so and I have been gifted a bottle and found it more enjoyable as I get further through.
Big blast of honey on the nose. It has to be the most pungent orange Ive had from a whisky and leads into peeper finishing with a pleasent sweetness.
Sits very firmly at the £30 price tag, but this price does have stiff competition for entry level supermarket drams. Maybe try it if you see it on offer.

2nd August 2020

Fantastic dram any time

Great whiskey. Gotta laugh at the people who swear it's not what it was 20 years ago.

Has nothing to do with your body... slowing down... Lol. Don't be ashamed. Happens to the best of us

27th July 2020

Worth coming back too. Horrible bottle though!

Mildly dissatisfied at first. It seemed to lack body of old and the honeyed, heathery nose felt a bit contrived. Took a few drams from the bottle over a couple of weeks and then came back to it. Much, much better. Rich and peppery with lovely caramelised orange fruit and a biscuit sweetness. Long on the palate too with oak, peat and smoke.

15th July 2020

This could be very special

Nice but seriously needs to be at 46 ABV

13th July 2020

Beautiful

Rich, smokey flavour that isn't overpowering. Delicious drank neat, doesn't need a mixer.

23rd June 2020

What on earth happened to this scotch?

What happened to this Whisky? It was always dependably good quality. My last bottle was finished, so I bought this one. My initial reaction was that I'd been sold the wrong thing. This just isn't the excellent Highland Park I've been drinking for the last 20 years. It tastes cheap. Had the 18 - also tastes cheap.

I guess someone bought and ruined Highland Park?

10th June 2020

Do you love me because I'm cheap?

Was one of my favourite malts and I could have said reduced to 40% it has watered down and killed it for me for what was once a wonderful malt but I'm convinced it's just only the 40% that's lost it for me it's gone deeper than that it's now entrenched in that group of companies that are killing SCOTTISH whisky

1st June 2020

Viking? my @rse

1: The vikings didnt drink whisky, they died out in the 11C, 200 years before the earliest date of spirits being distilled in the UK. Which is 700 years before HP even arrived in Orkney. So there is absolutely zero connection.
2: The whisky (Viking Honour) is weak and lacks substance - as if the stills were run too fast, and maturation carried out in knackered casks. UK supermarkets have to discount it to sell it. This is why it has to be heavily marketed and branded - because otherwise it wont sell.

29th May 2020

Good pairing for some southern BBQ

Bought this at the local liquor store because I enjoyed reading the rich history on the packaging and loved the look of it. Brought it home and sipped on it neat, it had a very smoky palate with a bit of spice on the lips. Long longer on the smoky taste, it felt a little overdone on the smokiness. Won’t be my go to, but it wasn’t a bad experience. Really nice fragrance.

17th May 2020

such a good whisky

Just love it! I wasn't really a whisky lover but a trip around the distillery changed that

9th May 2020

A**

Absolutely lovely experience, cube of ice is all you need

4th May 2020

Golden warmth, floral and peppery delight

My husband bought this for my birthday as he does terrible things with whisky (like putting coke in it... 🙄) so I have had it secreted and had just a dram now and again. Sadly the Isolation got to me and it is no more..... 😥
I don't know what wonders the low-score reviews have access to but this is one of the best malts I have tasted (that is in my budget) and I will be having it again - and again.
Warm and smooth with a hint of fire at the back of the throat, a delight on the tastedbuds and who cares if the Vikings haven't been on Orkney for hundreds of years - I can picture Thor in Valhalla as I am tasting this stuff 😉

29th April 2020

Very enjoyable

Great for the price, will be buying again

25th April 2020

It’s ok

Ye it’s ok but rather go with the 18yr old! Much tastier!

15th April 2020

Review it with your nose and taste buds...

Certainly seems to be one extreme to the other with this one, I had a bottle and didn’t notice anything amiss the bread the comments, so bought another.
Still tasted good, compared it to other 12yr olds with better reviews and still more then holds its own.
I think it’s partly people’s dislike to the marketing and partly swayed by other reviews.
I don’t think it’s changed since the packaging changes and it’s still a damn good dram for a very good price.

10th April 2020

Good stuff

Solid whisky - just love it!

9th March 2020

Old standard lost its way

Looks old fashioned and tired and cliched on the supermarket shelves. Always on offer. Really not the same whisky it used to be. Feels and tastes thin.

Time for a new marketing team? And a consolidation of the brand? Perhaps more focus on the core product instead of diluting the overall brand. Literally lost count of the different batches and gimmicky bottling and design.

9th March 2020

Cheap for a reason.

She offered her Honour
He honoured her offer
and all the night long
it was Honour and Offer

The poem is better than the whisky - and neither have anything to do with Vikings (who left Orkney many hundreds of years before HP arrived.

4th March 2020

A trick or treat scotch. It is overly smooth, and the nuances are suttle

It is like a whipped whiskey. Most of the fight is gone, and it speaks only when spoken to. It has a creaminess that I don't want in a whiskey, and it is subtle enough for the blended scotch drinker, or the non-scotch drinker to feel welcome. The price is deceptive. It makes you think you are getting a premium single malt scotch, but you are not.

28th February 2020

Subtle and delicious.

My first real peated whiskey. Subtle but nuanced. I enjoyed this thoroughly. Picked it up cause of positive reviews and I thought the labeling was interesting.
P.S- lots of whiskey snobs here.

28th February 2020

Nice rounded dram for the money

Love it, I think there are a few odd misleading comments on here from the whiskey snobs but honestly there is nothing wrong with this dram and it is definitely worth the money.

1st February 2020

Bad bottle, old favorite

Hate the new bottle, but it did its job: sales are up. I had an unopened pre-redesign bottle from 2016 and did a blind tasting with the new bottle, and yep, they're the same. So one of my favorite everyday Scotches is still a favorite. I just keep it in a brown paper wrapper.

21st January 2020

Classic

Well balanced solid all-rounder. Gets a bad rap from “established” online reviewers mainly because of the Viking theme. Classic beautiful dram when you appreciate it for what it is. Sure it’s easy drinking, but it’s not meant to be a 100£€$ bottle.

14th January 2020

An interesting whisky

A pleasant whisky, dark oranges with a hint of peat at the nose, a mix of creamy fruity cake and spiciness at the palate, a medium-long finish, spicy and quite bitter. I would have preferred a final Balvenie 12-like, but this is a peated one..I found pleasant to have a sip after lunch, especially after some fruit (oranges, etc). For a 12 year is quite complex, perhaps some cannot like it, anyway an interesting result.

11th January 2020

waste of money

Tastes like famous grouse.

10th January 2020

Smooth, creamy, and ideal for relaxing...

Excited several years ago on discovering Highland Park while on a cruise in the Caribbean, and bought a liter labeled EINAR, which was very much enjoyed. On my next cruise, I found a bottle labeled HARALD, and discovered that there were six (I believe) in the series, but they had been discontinued. HARALD, much like EINAR, was very enjoyable, and both received positive reviews from several friends, all regular single malt drinkers. I received a bottle of MAGNUS for Christmas, of which I've only had a dram or two, but anticipate sitting down with it in front of the fireplace this coming weekend. Visiting my eldest son this past weekend, he opened a bottle of the VIKING HONOR 12. We both consider it, as others have said, a "good, evening dram", and a "great autumn dram". Smooth, creamy, and ideal for relaxing, with your feet up in the recliner.

31st December 2019

Splendid bargain

Not been a fan of Highland Park's lower priced whisky but this is a revelation. For the price it is superb!

30th December 2019

Disappointment

Fell in love with design, Vikings lover... highland park has its great whiskies for affordable price. However this is not the case. Fall in love with design but not with flavour. Tastes like very low end whisky, in beautiful bottle. Nothing special, very short finish. After sip you dont feel you've been drinking scotch. Watery light bodied texture with bit of fruits, low smokiness (almost none) and all for 40 bucks in grocery shops (coop switzerpand). For that you rather get talisker or laphroaig, perhaps even entry level of ardberg whiskies would be better... disappointed

28th December 2019

Not that great

Mmm quite harsh for a 12 year old, wouldn't recommend, not much better than a blended, look elsewhere 3/5 and that's generous

26th December 2019

Love it

Wow - so good.

23rd December 2019

Viking God Awful

Having persevered for half a bottle over a handful of sessions, I can finally admit this is a keeper for guests. That don’t drink. Or are particularly well liked.

No depth, no character. There’s some brine to it, smoke “afterthought“ is bang on, almost non-existent. And an iodine bleachy-ness to it.

Don’t fall for the marketing or the awards here, tis utter crap.

22nd December 2019

Park

Tastes like Meths ...Talisker Rules

20th December 2019

Not quite what it was

Used many years ago to be my favourite “basic” malt - loved the dumpy bottle and “sunrise” label.

Not a fan of the Viking makeover of the packaging - but that’s by the by, like others I really don’t think this is as good as it used to be.

It’s decent but no more and it’s not as smokily complex as it was and that’s a fact.

7th December 2019

Delicious for those special relaxing occasions

Delicious

7th December 2019

Very good whiskey for the price, worth buying.

Had the Highland Park 12- Viking Honour yesterday, I have to say it's one of the best in the £25-40 price bracket I've tried.

29th November 2019

Bargain!

Beautiful bottle beautiful whisky.
As good as the Spirit of the Bear but half the price!

25th November 2019

Only good with a mixer

Very disappointing an incredibly short finish

20th November 2019

Pretty consistent over the past three years

...mostly cinnamon, oak and honey competing in the palate. Medium finish, and the nose deceptively promises cherry, oak, and vanilla (but thank god, does not deliver those).

Most reviewers here seem hung up on previous versions of HP....reviewing the 12 yr old in my glass, this is an incredibly consistent bottling. I don't get any real smoke or peat, and the honey and spice are very well-balanced. If that;s what you want, game on. Judged on its own merits, and not against some dimly remembered elixir, it is not exactly worth the $70 CAD in Ontario....but still, quite lovely. The drop-off in intensity with the NAS 'Magnus' expression was surprisingly intense...curious what the 18 yr old, or a cask strength offering would be like. The viking lore and bottle design seem a bit ridiculous, but I like the idea that I will get what I expect with the HP 12....

17th November 2019

A great autumn dram

Light and sweet but also with a good punch of peppery flavour. Hint of smoke.
Think the other reviews must have had a bad batch!

16th November 2019

A change for the worse

This used to be a favourite of mine but when i spotted the redesign and started looking at the reviews became very apprehensive. Thought some of it was hyperbole and it couldn't be that bad so picked up a bottle. What a disappointment. It really has turned into swill. Thin and watery with an awful paint stripper smell, it was undrinkable. Believe the reviews and get yourself something else.

12th November 2019

A pale shadow...

...of what it once was. It now tastes like cheap young spirit, heavy alcohol burn and without the subtlety or balance that once made this a great dram.

24th October 2019

Great whiskey for the price

This is a solid whiskey & the third bottle I have bought of this in the last 4yrs. There’s some smoke on the pallet and a sweet honey finish. A decent dram, and very moreish! I’m Surprised by all the negative comments!

18th October 2019

Definitely not for me

I don't care for the bottle so I'm not giving it a bad rating from that.
I just can't like how it tastes no matter how much I try, tastes like vomit.
I guess it's a straight upgrade from monkey shoulder (which I also can't like) because it doesn't taste young and unfinished sure, but at same price point I'd pick Eagle Rare because it's both higher proof and quasi single barrel with actual amazing flavours.
Or just pick a Laphroaig 10 you know, because the smoke in this one just feels like an afterthought. If a slightly smokey, absolutely average scotch (nothing bad about it but nothing remarkable either) is exactly what you're looking for this one is probably the one for you though.
I guess scotch just isn't for me.

10th October 2019

A pipe smoker’s choise!

For the price, don’t think twice.

5th October 2019

Dump it down the drain

You know that putrid taste after you get a novacane shot in the mouth? That's what this tastes like. The only reason to buy this, is for a clearance isle cheap drink you hope not to remember. Don't buy it. Save your money for something better

27th September 2019

Flat

I noticed a significant down grade in this entry level in 2016. It has dramatically gone down hill since then. I want to like it as I have always adored HP but they need to give us a chance.

12th September 2019

40%abv

All 40% ABV whiskies are RUBBISH, amazing how an extra 3% can make a big difference in flavour. Just too watery and lacking in flavours due to low ABV! Puh..why send stronger stuff to USA? Cause its the biggest market, thats why!

11th September 2019

worth a try

bought on a whim has a bit of bite to start with then mellows to my taste a nice finish im no expert but will buy again

6th September 2019

Viking Honour? It’s not even Scout’s Honor

This used to be my go to 12 year single malt. I thought my new bottle may be off, but then I had some in a bar. As others have noted, it has changed....And not for the better. Save your money. It’s a shadow of what it used to be and for this price point, there are much better options

13th August 2019

Fur coat and nae knickers

My grandfathers favourite whisky used to be Highland Park and, in his day, they put out some good juice. These days HP have screwed the pooch. The Edrington marketing machine have trashed one of the greatest reputations in single malt (and let's not even start on Macallan). Looks good and now comes with a story/alias (like all those NAS releases) so, if you believe in fairies....

12th July 2019

What's next, a pirate mascot for rum?

As a serious rum drinker would you buy a bottle with a stuffed parrot on its shoulder? Arrgh? All this money spent on bottle and artwork designs (likely by overpaid artists). How about good old-fashioned investment into the distillery, you know, stills, casks, warehouses, etc.?

11th July 2019

Reasonable, unremarkable, mediocre

Was given a bottle recently and, to be totally honest, was very underwhelmed. there was nothing overtly offensive about the whisky its simply that it lacked any real character or interest. There were some spicy notes to it, some sweetness, definitely some alcohol burn (which I don't often get with the whiskys I choose) but overall just a lack of anything really special to set this apart. I think there are many whiskys, with the same age statements and completely lacking in age statements, which are comfortably better than this. A shame really as I'd heard big things about Highland Park. Wouldn't buy again and, after this experience, unsure if I would purchase any other Highland Park stuff (although there Dark Origins does look rather tempting).

Worth noting the price is pretty cheap - perhaps you do get what you pay for?

7th July 2019

Great whiskey 🥃

I was brought back a tasting bottle of Viking honour by a friend who had been on a Scottish cruise.
The initial taste was good which led to greater flavours with a good depth that lingered on your palate.
I loved it,can not understand all negative comments.

5th July 2019

Drinkable...Mostly Ok.. boring though...

I'm drinking as I'm writing.

It's drinkable but doesn't really wow very much. It tastes far younger than the age statement but isn't awful.

I would speculate the recipe is Rowse squeezy honey mixed with orange peel and a few shots of Laphroaig Select aged in what smells like plywood and bottled. There's something gluey in the background as well.

It's also somehow very thin...more teenage girls from Milton Keynes with eating disorders than Vikings.

Fine for this price.

22nd June 2019

I preferred the old 12 year bottle

I preferred the old 12 year with the simple marketing. No need for anything about Vikings on the label - just concentrate on the whisky. Going in the wrong direction with this.

29th May 2019

Drinkable

Not as good as it used to be.

26th May 2019

A shadow of its former self

No way is this the same dram as the older bottlings, tastes much more spirit-driven, lacks the complexity and roundness it had, even just a few years ago. It also has an initial acetone nose after pouring, which it never had before, and takes a LONG time to open up in the glass to be able to extract any kind of nose or taste. I'm talking 15-20 minutes, even after going through half a bottle. Long been a fan, but most likely will not buy another bottle, and I certainly will not pay insane prices for the new NAS special editions.

6th May 2019

Very good as an all-around pleasant drink.

Great dram for its category. I cannot understand the negative reviews except for the possibility that there may be variance in the batches. Sweet, honey, mild smoke, balanced prickle, medium-longish finish that evenly dissipates into pleasantness. The intensity of the whole affair only reaches a moderate level but subtle complexity is present and it is always positive as an experience. I'd like to see a high-proof version of this 12 year old available that would be more intense. Rating is based on blends in this price range.

4th May 2019

The decline and fall of the HP brand

Such a monumental disappointment compared to what it used to be before the marketing took over. Avoid.

22nd April 2019

HP HAS CHANGED

HP 12 used to be so good, such a singular STATEMENT.
Peat - but not in the smoky Islay way - in a truly unique, differentiating, Orkney way.
The 12 used to be so good, the 15 and 18 weren't even necessary. No need to further refine perfection.
The more recent expressions just do not capture that magick. What a shame. Market with the Magnus and the Viking Honour all you will, fine. Just don't bollocks up your core attractant, your golden goose!

10th April 2019

Decent

Fruity, sweet, honey, a touch coastal. Not over complex but tasty. Could benefit from a higher abv, say 46. No color added which is great. Not really into the Viking thing so much but it’s a cool bottle I guess. Good price point, will buy again in the future but not something I have to have.

4th April 2019

Decided to buy some more of this superb "Amber Nectar"

I was given a bottle this past Christmas.It was a change from a Islay Malt I normally drink. I have enjoyed every drop(with cold Highland water and occasionally with a good oatcake and a wee piece of 22 month mature Cheddar.

9th March 2019

Let down

Not a fan unfortunately. Have had lots of the old yellow and red stripe HP 12 and 18 - the new 12 doesn't taste very full to me - seems very average and get too much smoke for me in comparison to other elements. Won't be getting again or risking the 18.

1st March 2019

Oh dear...

I would buy a bottle of 12 year old every year to 18 months in the knowledge that one could always rely on it to be lovely. Viking Honour isn't the same at all. IMO thin, weak, a bit harsh, with that lovely Highland Park flavour lurking somewhere at the back and , sadly, a bit hard to get to. These who drink it neat may not find a difference, which I appreciate. But I always drink with some still water to bring out the flavours and, like some other contemporary expressions, this kind of falls apart. What a pity.

25th February 2019

Tired and gimmicky

The ‘revamp’ is now looking very dated and as another review said, what exactly was honourable about the Viking’s invasion of the Island? It all appears to have been smoke and mirrors. Getting really tired seeing the same black boxes on the supermarket shelves, at the same time knowing the quality has been impaired, and that the wider brand is being milked as much as it can be, with high priced NAS variants that really are pandering only to collectors and not people who actually drink it. This 12 year old is on offer so often now in the supermarkets. I can see why. It’s a shadow of its former self. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a complete rebranding very soon - it needs it - and it desperately needs a better quality product, but it feels they are stretching everything too thinly. Laphroaig for me until things improve.

Disappointing - and not what it was a few years ago

17th February 2019

Wonderful, could not be better.

I have drunk Highland Park 12 year old for very many years. Many kind Orcadians have given me 18 year old, and older , bottles over the years which have been hugely appreciated but I have always returned to the 12 year old as my favourite. A few weeks ago , when I reached 87, a kind neighbour gave me a bottle of 12 year old VIKING. Without a doubt this is the finest Malt whisky that I have ever drunk, well done the Highland Park team. Angus

10th February 2019

What a letdown

I was a big fan of the old hp12 and decided to get myself a bottle of the new Viking Honour. All I can say is that it was a huge letdown. The drink is nice on the nose but tastes both harsh and watery with none of the distinct flavors that I had come to enjoy. The old hp12 was a lovely smooth drink with a wonderful lingering taste. Viking Honour is more like moonshine. I will not be buying highland park again any time soon.

4th February 2019

The packaging earned the half star

Dreadful
Really strong smell of alcohol and then nothing.
Derserves to be mentioned in the same breath as moonshine and rotgut.

25th January 2019

A disappointment from one of my (historically) favorite distilleries

I wanted to love it. I really wanted to. I've always loved Highland Park. The HP12 was a go-to, and the 18 was always a treat. But this... this was a terrible disappointment to a longtime devotee of the original Highland Park 12 expression, which has—in a grotesque act of unabashed villainy—been replaced by this nasty, characterless alcohol water. No depth. No character. No more smoke. Just a lame sweet caramel combined with lackluster alcohol flavors. I find myself wondering if they put a couple shots of caramel syrup in a bottle of Everclear and diluted with water. A travesty greater than which no distillery has heretofore had the gall to unveil. And to think they’re completely rebranding the distillery with these new flashy labels and bottles, containing barely drinkable spirits. Ach. Ick. Yuck. Argh. I find myself hoping I just got a bad bottle. Some of you seem to think the Viking Honour is still the same HP12 in a new bottle. If only wishing made it so. As for my bottle, it might be better used as carburetor cleaner.

Hyperbole aside, while this expression is drinkable, it's totally lackluster. I always considered the original HP12 my "go-to" for non-Isaly malts; I'm afraid, however, that I can't recommend the Viking Honour 12 to anyone, nor do I intend to buy it in the future.

17th January 2019

Hmmmmm

I like it. Don't remember how much I paid for is as I recently expanded mt scotch collection. So, I can't really say it was of value. I have to tell you though, I've read the tasting notes and comments. I get neither a grilled orange or nsew tire rubber taste/smell. I smell and taste some sweetness with a hint of smoke. Sort of like I'm chewing orange rock candy in a cigar lounge.

17th January 2019

If you like that new tire smell...

I simply cannot get beyond the odor of this whisky. On the palette I discern the potential for a complex dram here...slightly sweet, smoky, and without the alcohol so often associated with a young whisky. The nose, however, is very similar to new automotive tire rubber...sulphur...with a hint of smoke beyond. This 'new tire smell' sticks with me and obscures any other more redeeming qualities. I will not be finishing this $50+/- bottle...what a shame.

15th January 2019

Very Good

On first taste after opening the bottle the overwhelming flavour was smokey, but after the third occasion the smokey taste had almost disappeared, disappointingly so and the flavour took on a more subtle nature with honey to the fore.
Would I purchase this whiskey again?
I certainly would one of the best single malts I have tried.

5th January 2019

Would buy again

Lovely

4th January 2019

Would be a bargain at twice the price!

As smooth as a 12 year old malt can be. This delicious malt will surprise for its subtle warmth and sweet flavors and will be snapped up at this price.

3rd January 2019

Disappointing

I have enjoyed the occasional bottle of HP12 over the last 40 years. Recently I bought a bottle and was very disappointed. I put it down to my ageing taste buds but it seems that others believe its not the dram it used to be.

21st December 2018

A weak expression...

Not much going on... the NAS Ardmore Legacy has more complexity in terms of going for a sweet-smoky relation

Mild, drinkable; but not impressed

21st December 2018

This really has no legs and no body. A sad decline - drinkable but very humdrum. Save your money and buy one of Aldi or Lidl's 'highland' offerings instead, as the flavour profile is very similar. I've been lucky enough to try older versions of HP, and believe me, this had declined significantly.

15th December 2018

Amazing

Holy fuck its good

15th December 2018

Not as it once was

My 'problem' is that I remember the old HP12 - the heather honey, subtle smoke and sherry. It was my father's favourite and one of mine - one I always had in my store. This more recent version, though, just does not do it for me. Take off the HP12 label, put it in another bottle and it's drinkable enough but pretty unmemorable. I don't know what the distillers up there in Orkney are thinking about. perhaps they're too busy churning out the plethora of NAS versions with ridiculous names in fancy packaging to concentrate on reviving their previously excellent core 12 year old. I will not be buying again, even at the reduces price - my taste-buds deserve better.

6th December 2018

Great session drink

I haven't tried the 'original'. It's worth mentioning that Horst Luening from whisky.com says this and the old version are exactly the same, apart from the name and bottling. He also rates it very highly. If it's good enough for Horst it's good enough for me!

Anyway, this is an absolutely delicious whisky. The only problem is that it is far too easy to drink. The taste is interesting but very accessible. It's the very definition of a good session whisky. I wish I had the 43% version, where I am it is bottled at 40. If it were a little thicker bodied and had a bit more kick it would be perfect. As it stands, it's still a very good whisky.

4th December 2018

Where's the peat?

Couldn't believe all those reviews, I had to buy it and taste it myself. Old one was much better, all flavors are pulled down compared to the old one. And where is peat smoke? Won't buy this one anymore, sorry Highland Park

24th November 2018

Buy the old 12y/o if you find it

H.P. 12 from 2015 (before the viking malarky spread through H.P.'s marketing strategy) - I picked up today, November 2018, from my local co-op for £28. Nothing like the current Viking Dishonour being pedalled under the guise of whisky.

Why 'Viking' in anyway? they cleared off a good 800 years before the H>P distillery was founded.

The old style H.P. in my glass has REAL oak on the nose, is softer yet also has more character, the peat-smoke seems more integrated. Quite frankly, its bloody good for the price. If you see a bottle - get it.

24th November 2018

Really poor, the worst single malt I've ever tasted.

I can honestly say that this is the worst single malt I've ever tasted, absolute pish. HP should be ashamed. It's watery, no debth, not finish at all, it tastes like orange peel, that's it.

23rd November 2018

Simple enjoyment

Being the philistine I am, I quite enjoy HP 12 Viking Honor. After reading the furor over the change in 2017, I bought an old bottle to do a side by side taste test, and... Well... I prefer the new stuff. More honey, less oddly oaky, and something that keeps drawing me back. Perhaps I have simple tastes. But I simply enjoy this dram.

10th November 2018

I feel sorry that I paid for it.

One of the worst malts I've had over the last years.
This was a huge let down. If you liked the old HP12 you will hate this one. I think it's the worst possible option for the money and you're better off buying a glenmoranjie or even a simple glen grant 10.
The nose is nice, palate is average and lacks complexity and the aftertaste... well... I decided to have a snickers bar afterwards to get rid of it. It's like dog-pissed wood that is burnt together with old car tyres...

1st November 2018

Smooth

First time in a while for HP for me but what I remember about it was ‘smooth’ and that still applies. Came on offer too so an added advantage.

30th October 2018

Decent 12 yr old for the money

A few of my customers recommended this one, and I was surprised to see so many bad reviews after my first dram. For a $50 12 yr. chill filtered single malt this is good and very drinkable. A bit sweet and a bit spicy, not a whole lot of finish but complex enough for what it is. Goes down easy.

27th October 2018

Still the same

Many reviews here say the new 12 year old is not a patch on the old 12year old. My taste buds must be shot because in a blind tasting comparison I couldn't tell the difference between the two. Shop around and you will get it for £25 which is excellent value for what it is. I do agree they are overselling the Viking "link" and the bottle is very pretty but I don't buy a whisky for its packaging.

14th October 2018

Erm.....drinkable if you’ve nothing else.

Never tried the original HP but been drinking various whiskies over the last few months and Highland Park Viking Honour left me.....wanting. Got a nice peppery/honey and wood nose but that’s the best part. Taste is mediocre and the finish....well, I don’t think their is one! Kinda just disappears. No honey aftertaste or cream, just nothing. I like complex drama that change at various stages of tasting but this is as shallow as a puddle.

24th September 2018

Maurauding Pirates "Honour".

I had never tried any Highland Park before I bought this version yesterday. My foray into single malts started with a gift of Laphroig 10 from my son a few years ago, and I acquired the taste after a few shots. However this year I have taken to exploring other brands, and I really love Talisker Skye. Reading great reviews about Highland Park 12 recently aroused my interest, so when I learnt that Sainsbury's were offering it for just 25 pounds, I went and got one not realising that it was this Viking stuff.
In short I found it bland and a let down. Come to think of it though, the Vikings were a bunch of pirates and plunderers, so what is Viking honour really worth? Not a lot.

18th September 2018

Bring back the original.

I used to love the old Highland Park 12 Year Old, it was amongst my all time favourite whiskies. However this expression is just nowhere nearly as good. Come on H.P. get it sorted before you ruin the once great reputation you once had.

10th September 2018

Best with a coke...

The taste of cheapness. To put it simply this whiskey applies an approach of incremental economies in order to produce a harsh moonshine-esque malt. Fast distillation to push the spirit out quicker, then placed into planter quality barrels, with a hope and a prayer that any flavour would be imbued.

Utter dissatisfaction in a glass.

28th August 2018

In a word - Horrible!

This is NOT 12 y.o. Highland Park, not even a literally paler imitation.
The nose is pleasant enough, if a little simplistic, but I recommend you stop there before the firewater taste hits your throat.
Rough, fiery and shallow. No complexity of taste at all.
Bring back maturing in sherry casks and cut the stupid hype.
Viking honour? Viking horror more like.

26th August 2018

A huge letdown.

As an old admirer of Highland Park I bought this 12 YO Viking Honour recently.

I have enjoyed some very good Highland Parks since the late 1990’s, especially the 18 YO. Now I’m wondering if Highland Park is trying to destroy their reputation completely.

The latest 18 YO I bought was nothing near older bottlings in quality, and this Viking Honour is so bad I will not drink it up.

What are they doing up there at the distillery? Maybe they attract new customer knowing nothing about whisky with this Viking stuff, but as a Norwegian I think my ancestors the Vikings would turn around in their graves if such a bad whisky had their name on the bottle.

The smell had a touch of smoke, a touch of honey, but in the mouth, the taste and aftertaste it was horrific. Raw spirit taste, and not the best spirit either. The casks used must be of the lowest order used way to many times.

It is cheap, but it is a reason for that. Goodbye to Highland Park from me, I say this with sadness, but you can’t let quality suffer like this and sell such a bad whisky to paying customers. I’ve read that it is the same old 12 YO, well if you belive in Santa Claus maybe. The old 12 YO was a good 3 star whisky in my book, this is undrinkable for enjoyment and deserves a zero.

25th August 2018

Arr!

Tis a saft drink, this one - grand nose, though much less bright and subtle than the 'tasting' 'notes' suggest. More burnt than grilled orange. Green tea and jasmine very much absent - white pepper and wood to the fore, more aftertaste than taste. Orange Fanta is much more satisfying and thirst quenching and just as easy to down a pint of. Save up £20 more and buy an Ardbeg 10 and drinnk a maaaannnns drink ARRRRR!!!!!

18th August 2018

Excellent

Just cracked open my bottle tonight and I find it very balanced and quite delicious, don’t know why so many bad reviews, for the price you cannot go wrong

16th August 2018

Not bad, but it's boring when compared to the old version

I just tried this new viking edition side by side with the old non-viking edition, and I'm very sad to say, the difference is like night and day.
This is the same flavor, true, but the old version has less caramel sweetness, but much more smoke.

Still not a bad whisky, good for first timers and people who may get turned off by strong flavors, but the viking version is just.. boring.

16th August 2018

Not as good as it was

Great value and I personally love the new bottle design.
However, the contents are not as good as they were before this 'Viking Honour' marketing ploy.
I agree with comments of a rather rushed distillation and maturation in some pretty clapped-out casks.

30th July 2018

The best of the best

BALANCE is the word... sweetness, smoke, and bitter. This dram has everything.

13th July 2018

Bland

Did nothing for me, felt bland and uneventful. This definitely didn’t live up to the hype it gets.

12th July 2018

Much better than many other reviews suggest

Just tanned the last dram of this - I am now sad. HP 12 vh is one of my favs - hint of smoke on the nose gives way to a lovely bittersweet taste that to me is distinctive and outstanding - for a £30 bottle of malt you’ll struggle to find better bottle

6th July 2018

Smooth and sweet. And simply stunning for the price!

This is one of my favourite whiskies. Very smooth, hints of lavender, citrus, wood and honey. Haven’t found another in a similar price range as good as this one. Perfect with a wee drop of water to open up the flavours!
Only negative... far too easy to drink!

5th July 2018

Don't bother

Did not like. Stick with the regular 12 year offering if you can find it.

18th June 2018

I ain't complaining...

... I'm just done. Skipping. Loved the HP12 (and grabbed a couple of extra bottles while I could), despite the somewhat ugly bourbon-style bottle, but at least it looked rustic, that didn't bother me and the carton tube was great.

Packaging and marketing that abuses my intelligence, well I'd actually be embarrassed to own a bottle like that - it screams "I'm an ignoramus, I buy packaging and hype, not content".

Remember when the rugged vikings sipped single malt in their victory halls? No? Neither does anybody cuz it never happened. They looted Scotland centuries before distillation began. So why bother with this tripe? :)

6th June 2018

Viking Bollox.

Nope - this is FAR from the quality HP 12 used to be. VERY short finish which suggests distilling as fast as possible, then emptied into knackered casks with nothing to add to the spirit. And this is why they can sell it cheaper than any other 12 y/o malt.

Don't believe me? try Scapa Glansa instead - same island, similar age, MUCH better. Oh... and I guess they can claim Viking heritage as well.

Stop complaining indeed - just buy something else.

21st May 2018

Stop complaining; this is the same good whisky that it was

Some people online are crazy about how the new bottling is completely different and worse. Is it different? Perhaps, but slightly. Do I believe these people can identify it in a blind test? Absolutely not.
Onto the whisky: nose is floral with smoky background; the palate does not let down: peaty smoke that reveals orange, honey, and subtle spice. Good length finish that is peaty. I'd highly recommend it.
One last rant about marketing: If marketing disgusts you so much that it changes the taste of the whisky in your mouth, then go hire a good marketer and let them change it back.

19th May 2018

Solid 4 stars.

Nice, balanced.
Pricing very good.

Don't listen to the haters.
At that price, its a solid 4 stars.

4th May 2018

OK, but marketing is nonsense.

As far as I can tell, this is pretty much the same (Pretty good) stuff as before. The marketing is complete BS however. What nonsense! Sad, in fact. Viking WTF? Dimnishes the brand. Silly (IMHO)

19th April 2018

Marketing gets in the way of a fine whisky

Marketing style over substance. I liked HP before the recent rebranding, and underneath it all it’s still a decent enough whisky.
But it’s compromised as a result, and in my view the insane marketing of the broader range, including multiple HP variants and the endless variations on the Viking theme, is starting to look embarrassing. I know that HP has a very strong fan base, but it’s starting to feel less like a mature traditional whisky with real heritage and respect (all of which it used to have in spades) and more like an exercise in ‘clever’ marketing aimed only at collectors. That’s sad and it’s damaging the reputation of a very fine whisky.

14th April 2018

Underrated

On the nose butter like orchard fruits, possibly rich dark chocolate.
On the pallet Smokey honey and fresh fruit.
Finish is sweet slightly Smokey and not overly long.
A very nice anytime dram ( in my opinion)

26th March 2018

snowflake's honour

Dissapointing. somewhat weak and diluted, nicely honey/fruity and approachable but but but I thought Vikings were MEN ??
This is definitely a '"metro" version and more appropriately called "snowflake's honour"
I'm sorry but even JW Black walks all over this with bare feet. I want my $39 back !!

20th March 2018

Disappointing.

All that hype of "entry level" single malt...It's alright but nothing memorable. Yes, it has a proper Highland character of spicy finish, but I dont understand why is so popular on many whiskey forums. I genuinely have more joy from drinking blends like JW Black than from this single malt. Buy Old Pultney 12 instead, at least you're going to get something with own character.
I tasted it few times and I am not going to buy a whole bottle. I would give it 3 stars, but because of all the hype around it, I take 0.5 star home with me.

16th March 2018

Refreshing

Really nice well balanced well worth the cost

11th March 2018

Marketing trumps product

Not the old HP12 at all, side by side this one is weak and bland.

I'll be looking out for old stock of the good stuff before it gets collectable.

9th March 2018

Amazing

Great whisky

4th March 2018

VERY disappointing (if one tried the older version)

Compared to its predecessor - a true let down. Lacks both smoothness and richness of the older 12. I dare say I would rather buy the new 10 than this (not much difference to be honest). This one is definitely not worth its price.

16th February 2018

A let down

I was very disappointed to see the well-loved HP 12 converted into 'Viking Honour', an entirely bogus name which I suppose was cynically chosen by the marketing men to appeal to less sophisticated buyers. A heavy pretentious bottle covered in Gaelic swirls. I was also disappointed with the whisky to drink, it is not the same, and has lost the smoothness of the real thing. Unlike all previous HP's I wasn't sorry to finish it.

12th February 2018

I like!!

Even though I drink single malt scotch more than any other liquor, I am no expert. So no comments from me on nose etc. But I know what I like - and this one, I like. Not too peaty. And a very reasonable price.

7th February 2018

Great introduction for fellow newbies to peated whisky

As a newbie to scotch with only having 6 other bottles of moderately priced whisky under my belt I have to say that this is a close 2nd for me behind my favourite Johnnie Walker black. I enjoy the long finish with the peppery spice, on the nose I don't find it overwhelming and am able to pick out a few characteristics yet still have trouble picking out individual flavours but I put that down to inexperience in tasting. Would definitely recommend any fellow newbies to give it a shot especially as I would say it's a gentle introduction to peated whiskys especially if you can find it on special offer.

4th February 2018

Not the same

Honestly, this is not the original Highland Park 12. What I bought is on a par with a cheap blend and is harsh for what I paid for it. Second the Benromach ten, much better for the same price. Even ballantines is better

2nd February 2018

Did I get one of the last "old" bottlings?

I bought mine a couple of years ago, before the "viking" rebranding. Mine is the one that Ralfy said is a "bourbon bottle" design. It was on sale for a few bucks less. I love it and savoring the now half-bottle for special occasions. I would give 4.5 stars and would give 5 if it was 46% without chill-filtration and colorant.

Ok, so I didn't like the old bottle, but liked the malt. Now I'm hesitant to try the new HP12, despite the nicer bottle. What I REALLY don't understand is the whole viking motiff... didn't vikings ravage the Scottish shores, looting the goods, raping and pillaging? Shouldn't Scotch be about Scotland? Instead of paying a viking designer maybe invest in casks? I might try the new bottle if I see it reduced, but I hope I don't get disappointed (say it ain't so!) :)

2nd February 2018

Untouchable

Search for an online review... NONE except those bought and paid for by H.P.

Ask yourself why none of the usual bloggers / vloggers / reviewers will tough it?

31st January 2018

I like it.

There’s no manuka honey in it.

23rd January 2018

Would definitely recommend..

Really fresh, creamy, floral sweetness, citrus, honey, fresh lawn maybe, perhaps scorched fresh orange oil (like when garnishing a Cosmopolitan), agave syrup maybe, light smokiness with a lovely pepper and spice finish.. Very nice Island malt, opens up lovely with a few drops of water.

21st December 2017

Awful

After the first few glasses, I gave up on this bottle, its rubbish as a single malt. Ended up using the rest in my home-made blend as a filler, with some DECENT peated Islay (caol isla) for smokey top-notes and older Tomintoul to add depth and richness.

Seriously H.P. how low can you get - this in my opinion its barely worth using in a blend. Go knows how many times the casks had been re-used.

20th December 2017

Terrific!

I think your tasting notes are spot-on. It has a wonderful nose and an interesting palate. The finish is truly long and peppery without any overwhelming harshness.

18th December 2017

Smooth and delicious

New to the world of scotch.. so far I've tried a bottle of Chivas Regal 12 year, Chivas Regal 18 year, and some Glenlivet 12 year. I didn't think much of scotch until I tried to drink Bourbon for the first time and found it absolutely disgusting. Now I just purchased this bottle of HP 12 year Viking Honor and it's really freaking good. Sniffing the cork I could smell the honey. And sipping on my first glass, I'm loving every sip. I'm not a seasoned scotch drinker, but, so far any scotch is better than a cheap corn infused bourbon. I poured a glass on the rocks, and it's smooth, mellow, sweet but not too sweet and smells wonderful. Would buy again. There may be better scotch's out there but I haven't gotten a chance to try them yet. This is my first tasting of Highland Park scotch whiskey.. and I love it.

16th December 2017

Great drinkable whisky

There are two stables of my cupboard for whiskys that I just want to drink day after day and this is one of them along with the balvenie carribean cask. An absolute awesome dram for the £

9th December 2017

Neither fish nor fowl

Bought this as I had always wanted to try the original HP, not knowing that it had changed. I never got around to trying the original HP, so I cannot truly compare this to it, but here goes. The viking theme is a bit fake and naff, although the bottle design is kinda cool in its own right. This is not a terrible dram, but for me it did not live up to the high expectations I had formed based on the reputation of the original. First impression is good, a mild burst of almost islay-like smoke, but then instead of the long mellow highland finish I might have expected there is a sharp burst of rye-like peppery quality, with rather long bitter citrus finish. Now I love smokey islays and I love peppery ryes, but the 2 profiles do not sit comfortably together for me in combination. Clearly this is not swill, but it does not feel as satisfying and well integrated as I had hoped. It does not seem to know what it wants to be. Neither fish nor fowl

7th December 2017

Basically the vintage got crap so they rebranded.

The original Highland Park 12 is my favourite single malt by a long way.This one lacks depth and complexity. I hope we don't have to wait too many years for a decent Highland Park again!

4th December 2017

Why Mess with What Works??

I have been drinking HP 12 for nearly 15 years. This is not only a horrible marketing re-brand, but don't believe if when they say the formulation is the same. It isn't. It's weaker. It flat-out sucks. Switching to Oban.

1st December 2017

Very good so far

My first contact with a Single Malt Scotch Whisky and it completely changed my world. It's so nice, the peat is smooth but awesome.

29th November 2017

Buy something else. Springbank 10 or Benromach 10

Not what it used to be. Just plain dull

26th November 2017

Must try

Very smooth and tasty. Really good for a 12 yr.

25th November 2017

A good all round malt.

Yes there is hype but underlying this is the fact that this is a finely balanced dram that ticks most boxes.

19th November 2017

What's happened to HP?

All style and no substance. Firstly, I half expected a tiny viking to jump out of the box swinging a small axe. That might have been preferable...this is so dull. HPs standard offering has been on the decline for years, and this is another rung down the ladder. Drinkable but drab.

11th November 2017

Apparently not...

...possible to give zero stars, so half star it is. An over-packaged, sulphured disappointment. Don't believe the marketing/hype.

30th October 2017

Is it possible to give zero?

Horrible new redesign and packaging and a whisky that tastes of sulphur. Don't believe the hype/marketing.

29th October 2017

What happened?

Used to be excellent. Isn't any more.

29th October 2017

Absolute best

I agree with Craig Ferguson, HP is the very finest spirit in the world.

26th October 2017

Brilliant one of the best,

I take after my old man he liked s good single malt this one's for you dad xxxx experience

14th October 2017

A fantastic smooth quality whisky

A very easy drinkable single malt brought by a friend now a real good friend, loved it

13th October 2017

fantastic price/quality ratio, but light and delicate. Not for those who need a kick to the head...

You gotta love the "anti hype" people have. I've had it and it is the exact same stuff believe me. HP ambassodor also assured me it is just new bottle to tie it together with the others. And why not? Vikings where from there, and lets face it, branding matters.

Enough of that; it is a properly good whisky. But light and delicate in comparison to the older stuff, I know, huge surprise right!? I was recently in a tasting and everybody liked the 12. Valkyrie is much more a divider, some like, some don't "cause it doesn't taste like hp" ??? So you want all of them to taste the same? Some whisky snobs...

13th October 2017

Choose another single malt

I don't know if I got a bad bottle but to me this is pretty tasteless. Not at all that excellent the previous 12 YO that were one of my favorite.

7th October 2017

Love the whisky though

Hate hate hate the branding, marketing and packaging.

6th October 2017

Carney get better for the price

Lovely smooth smoky whisky a must in my whisky cabinet.

4th October 2017

Very good

Very smooth. I liked it. Rekomended

1st October 2017

Not Great

Poor, especially compared to the usual HP. Gives me Grouse vibes, nasty lingering after taste often found with cheap blends.

27th September 2017

just dont

don't be fooled by the fancy bottle...its proper rubbish compared to the original

17th September 2017

crap

its a nicely decorated bottle and nothing more. why did they do this?

17th September 2017

Very good whisky at this price mark.

Ive liked Highland Park for a few too many years, it's very easy to drink and with good flavours and nose to it
( for the record i detect no sweaty socks... I will in future be smelling my socks carefully incase i'm wrong :-)
Sweet with a delicate smokey after taste which all in all is very agreeable.
Would recommend this Whisky.

2nd September 2017

9/10 all day long

Amazing taste goes down to easy ..

1st September 2017

A nice evening dram.

Fresh and light on the nose. I get the creamy undertones
I find it rather light and uninspiring on the palate, but a very nice spicy finish.

30th August 2017

Perfect

Lovely dram

29th August 2017

Great value.

Really nice, clean dram. For the price, super value.

13th August 2017

Very smooth and slightly peaty

The Highland Park 12 year old viking honour is very smooth and slightly peaty. It holds 1st place in my ' tour of scotland cabinet '

7th August 2017

Def 4 star whisky

This is a very nice malt one of the best i have had in a long time actually it goes down to easily and one is never enough the bottle shape and design are brilliant might have to re use it also price is just fantastic for a 12 year old

22nd July 2017

A triumph of marketing over content

Screams of marketing overload for the duty free shelves, quite frankly irrelevant 'viking' bollox which I find tacky and somehow cartoon like. Add to that the caramel orange glow, pennypinching 40% strength, and chill filtering. Yes folks this is a full-on commercial product trading on previous reputations. Shame because the previous packaging was quite classy. £32 in Morrisons

In the glass, its a differant story. Nose is like an aged grain whisky (not a bad thing) with tropical fruits & some heather (certainly no smoke), taste is sharper & typically H.P. dry yet quite rounded - there's a 'tang' to it but it's not peat - finish is short except the tang turns into a youthful nip. Strangely, in an empty glass the residual nose is really good!

In conclusion - absolutely zero smoke or peat - its quite drinkable as an alternative to Chival Regal 12 (or similar) but NO WAY does this do credit to Highland Park as a single malt. This goes to the back of the cupboard, for flaming steaks (in a viking style of course)

6th July 2017

Nice little dram to keep handy

Lacking in complexity a bit, but for the price it's a steal (and there is hardly anything more complex for this kind of money anyway). Sweet, smooth and totally enjoyable. Also - brilliant new design.

2nd July 2017

no stars

Horrible!
As soon as I took out the cork it smelled of sweaty socks.
I have never tasted "sweaty socks" but the taste was what I imagined they would taste.
Not an improvement and a big disappointment.
I wont be buying this again.Back to Laphroig!

27th June 2017

Exceptional value whisky.

This is a crazy good whisky for £25. I normally choose an Islay malt but this is such a drinkable, approachable and (in the best possible way) relatively undemanding drink. For me the strength lies in the smoky finish and I love it. Gotta say I also love the re-branding.

26th June 2017

Excellent

Received a bottle for my Birthday, thoroughly enjoyed, and enjoying it.

15th June 2017

First class whisky

What a bargain! A great whisky at a great price. A Viking triumph.

12th June 2017

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