Highland Park Saint Magnus Review

Highland Park Saint Magnus088

55% abv

Score:  88.5/100


Second of the Magnus series.  12 y.o. from 2010.  Limited to 11,994 bottles.

Here we have the second release in the Magnus series, following on the success of 2009’s Earl Magnus.  For this edition, we’re looking at a slightly younger malt than that edition, clocking in at a mere 12 years (possibly plus an older cask or two in there for good measure).  The first release was 15+ years old.  Seems like a slightly illogical succession, especially seeing as how the third in the series was an 18 year old.  Hmmmm.

In following the Magnus tale, at this point our hero had taken an axe to the noggin, met his maker and been canonized.  And now, Sainthood seeming to suit Magnus just fine, we find ourselves curled up with a bottle of Highland Park’s 2010 follow-up release…Saint Magnus.  I provided the history lesson in the review for the previous release, Earl Magnus, so let’s skip on ahead to the whisky itself. 

I like this whisky.  I don’t, however, like it as much as I did the Earl Magnus.  I’d venture further to say it is certainly the least spectacular of the three.  What you’ll find here is a much dirtier drink.  More ‘workingman’, by nature.  That, in and of itself, is not a bad thing, but it simply doesn’t seem to have the refinement of the others in the range.  As contrary as this may sound…it is the right selection for the series though.  I simply would have released this one to the market before the other two.

Nose:  This is a maltier and meatier dram than Earl Magnus.  Typical Highland Park flares of honey.  The other HP hallmark, heather floral notes, is quite dialed back.  Some pepper and a hint of matchstick.  Smoky and slightly earthy or peaty.  A bit of mildly vinegary bbq sauce (perhaps this ties back to the olfacory meaty connections I am drawing).

Palate:  Very much in line with what I would expect based on the nose.  Barley.  Very dry smoke and peat.  Certainly the most old school of the three.  Quite reminds me of an older style blend.  Organic and natural in its development.  Quite long on the grains as it fades.

I should note here…they essentially doubled the production run on this one.  I note this as it will be a talking point in the write-up for the third edition, Earl Haakon. 


– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Curt

2 thoughts on “Highland Park Saint Magnus Review

  1. Peter Benkoczki

    I’d love to hold of a bottle of the Magnus series – yes, just for the look of it, beautiful. 🙂
    This second one seems to be the “cheapest”, but i don’t know if it’s worth 130 pounds…

    1. ATW Post author

      All are good, but the prices are reflective of the story and design more than the inherent quality, I’d say. Just my two cents. If money is not an object…absolutely cool to try these ones.


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