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Glenfiddich 12 vs Highland Park 12: Which is Better for You?

Discover the differences between Glenfiddich 12 vs Highland Park 12 in this head to head comparison and decide which Whisky is better for You!

Highland Park 12

  • Nose: Floral, smoke, orange, honey
  • Palate: Cereal, orange, green tea, smoke
  • Finish: Long, oak, pepper
  • Alcohol content: 86 proof (43% ABV)
  • How to drink: Add water
  • Similar to: Bunnahabhain 12, Aberfeldy 12


Nose has a strong floral hit, with hints of citrus and honey. There is a smoky note on the nose that does not show as high on the palate.

On the palate, it feels somewhat thin lacking in body. Mouthfeel is smooth and sweet, with a bit of iodine, honey and subtle smoke.

The finish is peppery, moderately sweet, and short, with just a tad of oak.

The Highland Park 12 gets entirely better with a few drops of water as it becomes sweeter and some meaty notes appear.

is it good?

Highland Park 12 is neither as peaty as the whiskies from Islay nor as sweet and smooth as the whiskies from Speyside; sits in the middle of the road.

It is sweet, there’s smoke in limited amounts making a good option for those who want to get baptized into peaty whisky before trying the smoke-monsters such as Ardbeg or Laphroaig.

Overall, Highland Park 12 is a solid basic single malt a bit too thin for my taste and somewhat boring. It does get better if you add a few drops of water, though.

Highland Park 12 facts:

  • Highland Park ages its whiskies in a combination of European and American casks that previously stored Spanish Oloroso Sherry Wine. This makes Highland Park whiskies sweeter and darker than a traditional Scotch.
  • This whisky is free of additives, sweeteners, colorants or any chemical compound. The 12 Year is made exclusively using malted barley and water; that’s it!
  • This brand has been in business since 1798 and is the northernmost single malt Scotch whisky distillery in Scotland, located in Kirkwall on the Orkney Islands.
  • Today, the company belongs to the Edrington Group who also owns other well-known whisky brands such as Macallan, Glenrothes and the modest Famous Grouse.

Glenfiddich 12

  • Nose: Floral, ripe fruit, honey
  • Palate: Fruity sweetness, pear, oak
  • Finish: Medium, pear, oak
  • Alcohol content: 86 proof (43% ABV)
  • How to drink: Add water
  • Similar to: Jack Daniel’s, Black Label


On the nose, the Glenfiddich 12 offers a light aroma with a floral note, along fruity notes and honey.

On the palate, this malt has a decent body. Flavor offers fruity sweetness up-front, followed by a hint of pear and a tad of oak.

The finish has a medium length, with no warmth to it, with an aftertaste of pear and subtle oak.

Is it good?

For those new to Scotch, this would be a friendly introduction; if you are an experienced aficionado you are going too find it too friendly, perhaps boring.

The Glenfiddich 12 is a clean and sweet whisky, nothing complex, nothing great but nothing off-putting, is just a smooth and mellow fruity dram.

No harshness and no traces of smoke make it the best option for newbies curious about single malt Scotch or liquors in general.

Overall, Glenfiddich 12 is a basic release and due to its affordable price and signature smoothness serves as the entry-level bottle to the world of single malt whisky.

Glenfiddich 12 has been the entry-level bottle to the fantastic world of single malt whisky for many people including me and for a good reason: Glenfiddich is a solid, smooth and yet inexpensive single malt.

If you have never tried this type of whisky I always suggest to my customers to start with the Glenfiddich 12 and start developing their taste for these whiskies one step at a time.

Even those with limited experience can sip it neat or rocks although I do not recommend as a mixer.

There are several more affordable blends out there better suited to make cocktails such as the Monkey Shoulder.

Glenfiddich 12 facts:

  • Is aged for a dozen years in a combination of used American oak and European sherry oak casks.
  • Glenfiddich has been in business since Christmas Day 1887 when William Grant founded the distiller
  • Glenfiddich is the best-selling single malt across the globe.
  • This is Speyside whisky, these whiskies are known for being smooth, creamy, fruity and commonly matured in Sherry casks.
  • This brand is owned by William Grant & Sons who also owns Balvenie, Tullamore D.E.W., Monkey Shoulder among several others.

Glenfiddich 12 vs Highland Park 12: Price Comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Highland Park 12$54
Glenfiddich 12$36

Glenfiddich 12 vs Highland Park 12: Which is better?

The Glenfiddich 12 is a safer bet for new consumers

  • If you are new to single malt whisky the Glenfiddich is the best entry level bottle due to its price and overly smooth flavor.
  • If you are an already experienced drinker and enjoy a bit of warmth and light smoke and some more complex tasting notes the Highland Park 12 makes a better choice for you.

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