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, coastal flavors tempered by just a subtle touch of smoke.
Highland Park 1968 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky is the second release in the esteemed Orcadian Vintage series. Crafted from just eight hogshead barrels which were previously used for maturing Oloroso Sherry, the whisky was bottled in 2009, allowing four decades of weather on the Orkney Islands to exert its influence over the whisky. With its aromatic, heather-infused peat flavor, Highland Park 1968 represents a unique combination of smoky and sweet that has not previously been seen from Highland Park.
Highland Park 1968 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky has a bright, clean aroma of straw and salty sea air, which leads to a fruit-forward palate filled with lemon tart, plums, honey, cloves and just a hint of oak. The finish is equally compelling, with accents of toasted marshmallows and coconuts, as well as refreshing mint.
Only 1,550 bottles (at 91.2 proof) of this magnificent whisky, which earned 93 points from Whisky Advocate, were ever made. Pick up a bottle today!
91.2 (45.6% ABV)
Highland Park Distillery
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Bright, clean aroma of straw and salty sea air, which leads to a fruit-forward palate filled with lemon tart, plums, honey, cloves and just a hint of oak. The finish is equally compelling, with accents of toasted marshmallows and coconuts, as well as refreshing mint.