This Orkney whisky was aged for twelve years in a combination of ex-Oloroso Sherry and ex-bourbon casks, and is available at an unbelievable value.
Situated in the Orkney archipelago in Northern Scotland, Highland Park Distillery was founded in 1798 by Magnus Eunson. The name of the distillery is derived not from the region of Scotland known as The Highlands — the Orkney islands are not a part of The Highlands — but rather from the region known as High Park, where the distillery was founded.
Today, over two centuries after its founding, Highland Park Distillery remains one of the few Scottish distilleries that continues to hand-turn, malt, and peat its own barley. “You have to be careful here on the malting floor,” says Eric Tait, Highland Park's Maltman. “You find it can get a wee bit slippery underneath. I have to turn the malt every eight hours to prevent the roots getting tangled and to get it all aerated properly. The airing also helps it to grow. The malt will be on the floor for seven days and I'm running five floors at the moment.”
After malting the barley, Highland Park Distillery smokes it using peat sourced from Hobbister Moor, a peat bog located approximately seven miles from the distillery. Hobbister Moor peat is sourced from floral heather bushes, which burn hotter and cleaner than the grassy peats of Islay. In addition, the peat sourced from Hobbister Moor has greater derivatives of carbohydrates and a lower concentration of lignin than peat from Islay, giving Highland Park's peat a unique chemical fingerprint. The peat sourced from Hobbister Moor is “absolutely fundamental” in understanding the flavor of Highland Park Whisky, says Russell Anderson, the distillery manager. Together with Orkney's unique environment (the temperate, moist climate of the archipelago results in an even maturation process), the peat gives Highland Park Whisky its traditional malty flavors that are tempered by just a subtle touch of smoke.
Once the barley has been peated, it is mashed and fermented before being twice distilled through Highland Park's copper-pot stills. Following distillation, Highland Park 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky is matured for a minimum of 12 years in a combination of used Oloroso Sherry and bourbon casks, and bottled at 86 proof. While the exact proportion of whisky aged in sherry casks versus bourbon casks is unknown, it is estimated that the ratio is somewhere near to 9:1.
As a result, Highland Park 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky has a rich aroma of chocolate, orange zest, toffee and butterscotch, which leads to a marvelous palate filled with notes of licorice, barrel char, malt and apricot. The finish is incredibly dry and smooth, with sherry notes mingling with light touches of peat smoke.
Highland Park 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky is an unbeatable Orkney whisky for the price — pick up a bottle today!
86 (43% ABV)
Highland Park Distillery
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Highland Park 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky has a rich aroma of chocolate, orange zest, toffee and butterscotch, which leads to a marvelous palate filled with notes of licorice, barrel char, malt and apricot. The finish is incredibly dry and smooth, with sherry notes mingling with light touches of peat smoke.