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Highland Park 12 vs Talisker 10: Discover the Better!

Discover the differences between Highland Park 12 vs Talisker 10 in this in-depth 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, Aberlour 12


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

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 smokiest whiskies.

Overall, Highland Park 12 is a solid entry-level single malt a bit thin for my taste and somewhat boring. It does get better if you add a dash 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.

Talisker 10

  • Nose: Smoke, pear, apple
  • Palate: Smoke, dried fruit, mineral notes
  • Finish: Long, pleasantly peppery
  • Alcohol content: 90 proof (45% ABV)
  • How to drink: Add water
  • Similar to: Talisker 18, Ledaig 10


There is a fair amount of smoke on the nose at first, followed by hints of pear, apple and a bit of iodine.

On the palate, the Talisker 10 displays a creamy texture.

Flavor offers a moderate hit of smoke at first, that quickly mellows out into rich dried fruit sweetness, with hints of cereal, black pepper and a mineral note.

The finish is long, with a satisfying warming peppery note and mineral finish with a bit of oak spice and caramel.

Adding a dash of water tunes-down the pepper, while releasing sweet notes, making it easier to sip.

Is it good?

Talisker 10 is a creamy and full flavored whisky. This is a peaty whisky but not as heavy as some of the Islay malts as it does not overpowers other flavors.

Talisker strikes a nice balance between smoke, salinity, peppery notes and honey-like sweetness.

Overall, Talisker 10 is not an entry-level single malt but it makes a solid option for true whisky aficionados that like peat in still moderate amounts in their drinks.

This is one of the best Single Malts under $100 in the United States and one well worth buying.

Talisker 10 facts:

  • Aged in ex-bourbon barrels.
  • Rated Best Buy by Wine Enthusiast.
  • Awarded with 94 points at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge in 2013.
  • Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2013.
  • Talisker is an Island Whisky crafted in the Isle of Skye since 1830; founded by Hugh and Kenneth MacAskill.

Which is more smoky: Highland Park or Taliser?

On a 1 to 5 scale the Highland Park scores a 2 and the Talisker 3 making the latter the more smoky.

Highland Park 12 vs Talisker 10: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Highland Park 12$54
Talisker 10$68

Highland Park 12 vs Talisker 10: Which is better?

Talisker 10 is a more rewarding dram than the Highland Park 12

WhiskeyHighland Park 12Talisker 10
  • Talisker 10 is more enjoyable experience as it hits with moderate smoke at first, to later bring dried fruit notes, along a pleasantly peppery hit providing great balance and a great sip.
  • The Highland Park 12 is good, just that a bit thin an plain and perhaps a bit boring.

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