Single malt whisky - tasting notes

12 Aug 2014

Highland Park Dark Origins

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in Highland Park

Highland Park Dark Origins is a new addition to the core range. It refers to the origins of the distillery, a time when the founder Magnus Eunson had to pull ‘dark’ tricks to smuggle his illicit products and stay two steps ahead of the exciseman.



Dark Origins has no age statement, but it’s said to be a teenager which uses twice as much first fill sherry casks than the 12 years old (i.e. 80%, of which two thirds was European oak), hence with supposedly darker flavours.



Highland Park Dark OriginsHighland Park Dark Origins
(46.8%, OB 2014)

Dark doesn’t really refer to its colour, in any case. Mind that it’s a natural colour. Nose: sherry alright. Almonds and hazelnuts, soaked raisins and baked apple. Cinnamon and nutmeg. Some butterscotch. Oranges. A big smoked / charred note as well. A slightly fuller nose than the other youngster in the core range. Mouth: medium-sweet. Quite tarry and smoky for a HP expression, which means limited complexity and some rubber. Slightly woody as well, with hints of mint, pepper and a bitterish edge. Earthy notes, liquorice and dark cocoa. Finish: long, smoky and oaky. Sweet cereals and herbal notes in the background.

This is a peatier, smokier kind of Highland Park. Darker indeed. The dark side works well with the sherry notes on the nose, but it’s a little harsh and oaky on the palate. Around € 75 – available from stores around Europe and the US later this month.

Score: 83/100

Highland Park Dark Origins 3 Ruben Luyten 2014-08-12
  • Gal(WhiskyIsrael)

    I tend to agree Ruben.

    I liked it quite a bit (85 for me, but it’s the same…) but price wise this is very expensive. you can buy 2 12 yo and get some spare change… and by far this aint twice as good as the 12. so i cant justify buying this for myself. maybe as a gift to HP fans 😉

  • Kenneth

    How is it compared to Drakkar? Anyone tasted them up against each other?



October 2015
« Sep    

  • Tony: The Brora at 1500 Euros seems to recognise that last years similarly priced just hasn't sold, so no increase there (and even a slight drop). Then agai
  • kallaskander: Hi there, I remember that Bacardi said all the Last Great Malts would carry an age statement. Which is true. I thought they promised they would all b
  • WhiskyNotes: It looks like this will not be part of the official selection this year. Maybe an upcoming standalone release.

Coming up

  • Bunnahabhain 1987 (Maltbarn)
  • Glen Garioch 1993 (Maltbarn)
  • Royal Brackla 16 Year Old
  • Teeling 26yo Vintage Reserve
  • Kavalan Podium

1895 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.