Drink Review: Highland Park 30 Year Old

October 6, 2020
2 mins read

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Released at the beginning of 2013, this 30 year old is the second oldest core expression in the Highland Park range. Bottled at a lower strength than previous editions, it exudes notes of aromatic spices, dark chocolate orange and the characteristic fudge sweetness that one has come to expect from older Highland Park bottlings.

Highland Park 30 Year Old:


A lovely balance of sweet, smoke and mellow spices, with a creamy, sweet taste that carries notes of banana, dark chocolate and fudge/caramels. Underneath, wisps of smoke come to the fore with hints of heather and warm smouldering coals. The banana shimmers beneath the surface like a quilt of the softest cashmere while the smoke and sweetness are reminiscent of porridge cream.

Lush and immensely appealing, this is such a wonderful whisky to smell.



Thick and full, with a great depth to it and a certain coifling texture to the taste that gives the entire experience that familiar “Highland Park’ feel.

The mouthfeel is immeasurably smooth with hints of orange spiced rum, marzipan, toffee, orange, green apples, coffee, barley sugar and a dash of sherry. There are also signature Highland Park notes of smoke and heather that come into play during the long, sweet finish, with a hint of lingering fudge.

This really is a beautiful expression of Highland Park – it’s complex, deep and rich. There is no shortage of heather, smoke, citrus, fudge and marmalades with the smoke really coming through in the finish. It feels as though you’re drinking a glass of thick, smooth peat with a sweetness that dances around your mouth.

As expected, it is quite different from the 15 and 18 year old core expressions, and the aroma is often referred to as spicy.

This is a superb dram that’s packed with taste and character. It doesn’t have any of the boldness and intensity of the 15 or 18 year old CS bottling, and the heaps of citrus and spicy notes are far more subdued. However, this actually adds to its character… a lovely, creamy heathery sweetness.

For those who have yet to taste Highland Park – give this a whirl. It’s a wonderful expression of the distillery and one that you won’t regret.

Highland Park 30 Year Old Review 1:

The “Highland Park 30” is one of the big 2013 launches from Highland Park. It was launched, along with a 12 and 18 year old expression, in January 2013 and is one of three golden anniversary releases.

Highland Park 30 Year Old Review 2:

On the 3rd September 2013 the Highland Park 30 year old was released at Harrods in London. The whole process leading up to the launch was run very smoothly with Harrods staff reserving a short piece of the counter for the 30 year old while the whole room was packed out with buyers. The room was full and people were being turned away at the door, despite having pre-ordered bottles. The whisky was initially sold at a steep price but there was a slightly lower margin at the Harrods pre-launch when compared to the pre-sale price which took place on the night of the launch itself. Those who pre-booked were given a chance to taste a small amount of the whisky in a quite informal setting in front of the distillery before going off to sample more of it at the official launch, and a good hour or so in front of a queue of people who had stood in the pitch dark outside the distillery and had been locked out of it earlier on in the day.

The official launch itself was run very smoothly, with bottles being sold in a perfectly organised manner and the staff from Highland Park being great and making sure that all of the customers were looked after and taken care of.

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