Matured in sherry casks for a minimum of twenty five years, this whisky was the first ever to receive a perfect 100/100 score at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge in 2013 and was named Best Spirit in the World by F. Paul Pacult's Spirit Journal in the same year.
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. Highland Park is an incredible longstanding whisky house, and they pride themselves on their rich Norse heritage, an essence which is reflected in their craft.
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, using locally cut peat from the nearby Hobbister Moor. The malt is peated to 20 parts per million phenol, and then mixed with unpeated malt produced on the Scottish mainland.. "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. Also, 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.
In 2013, Highland Park 25 Year Old became the first spirit ever to receive a perfect 100-point score—not to mention the Chairman’s Trophy for Best of Category—at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge. With an unmatched depth and vibrancy, this legendary expression is matured in predominantly first fill European oak casks, each seasoned with Oloroso sherry to impart a rich, nutty spiciness alongside a dark, full-bodied profile. Unearth flavors of dried fruit, caramel, dark chocolate, golden toffee—and finish with the unmistakably balanced floral smoke that Highland Park is known for.
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91.4 (45.7% ABV)
Highland Park Distillery
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A red and golden hue, with an aroma of mature oak, fudge and chocolate. The whisky has initial notes of honey and nutty toffee, which lead to a rich and supple finish.