Three decades ago Highland Park’s master distiller wisely laid down a collection of casks, resulting in one of the finest single malts ever to leave the island of Orkney. This Highland Park 30 Year Old is the essence of elegance.
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. "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.
Long ago, Highland Park’s master distiller wisely laid down a collection of casks that would remain untouched for three decades, resulting in one of the finest single malts ever to leave the island of Orkney. Boasting an exceptional balance of delicate smoke and seductive sweetness, Highland Park 30 Year Old demands the respect of even the most seasoned palate; elegantly delivering the flavors of smooth, rich fudge, aromatic spices and dark chocolate orange. A dry, lingering finish dances between floral peat smoke and a mildly salty aftertaste—the perfect reminders that a whisky of this quality could only come from Highland Park.
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91.4 (45.7% ABV)
Highland Park Distillery
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Elegant flavors of smooth, rich fudge, aromatic spices and dark chocolate orange. A dry, lingering finish dances between floral peat smoke and a mildly salty aftertaste.