I should note, I tasted the new oval bottle. It is not as good as the old 18, which I would give an A-. This one is a sweet nose with lemon cake and a little candy cane. The palate is cake with a little mint. The finish is light and smooth. Not as rich and complex as the old Highland Park 18. Disappointing in that regard. Very refined and easy to drink.
My classic go-to bottle. I like the older, dumpier bottle better but not by much. This is just great, sweet, coal smoked whisky with very nice malt/barley tones with vanillas perfectly integrated into the sherry sweetness. Might deserve an A- if it was more....explosive.
An old favorite. Dark tarry sherry notes mixed in with whiffs of smoke and red fruits. Agreed with Dave, the older bottlings are better. The best of this stuff is in the "slanty shoulder" bottles where the sherry is much brighter with some nutiness.