“It’s an older bottle, but it checks out.”
It’s no secret. I like old things, and sometimes, I fear change. This can clearly be seen by how tightly I hold onto my love of the Original Trilogy of Star Wars. That doesn’t mean I don’t love the recent release of The Force Awakens (we won’t mention the pre-quels), but I still connect more with the originals. In my free time (what is that?) I can spend hours walking around antique shops looking for old and nostalgic gems. So, when I get the chance to get my hands on an older bottle of one of my favorite whiskies, I jump on it. Thanks to my buddy Jarrod aka @FL_ScotchLover for sending this older style Highland Park 12yr over. This not only offered a great way to introduce the First Order Stormtrooper into my pictures, but a great opportunity to do a side-by-side comparison of the old vs new.
As can be seen, the older bottle is a bit darker. I originally thought that was from the thicker bottle, but once I poured a dram of both, I could see that it is in fact darker. Also easily noticeable just on the pour, the stronger sherry influence in the older bottle. The nose really jumped out of the glass, and this carried through on the first taste. The older 12yr was deeper and more flavorful than it’s updated version. Side by side, the new 12yr almost seemed bland and dull. Now don’t get me wrong, Highland Park holds a special place in my heart and I would gladly accept a dram from either. But, just like Star Wars, if I was given a choice between the old or new, I would chose the old. But both are a great dram. A nice mix of smoke and sherry that will make for a perfect grilling scotch or a nice gateway whisky into the Highland Park lineup.
That being said, the designer and photographer in me loves the style of the new bottle much more. The embossed logo on the bottle, and the smaller label really make the bottle stand out and lets light shine through beautifully. Here is a quick read on it and more about Andy Bowman, the designer of both bottles.