This special Highland Park single malt is matured for 15 years in American ex-Oloroso sherry casks. The expression was first introduced in 2003, then re-released in 2016.
Founded in 1798, presumably by Magnus Eunson, Highland Park’s distillery is a Scotch whisky distillery in Kirkwall Orkney. Highland Park is the northernmost distillery in Scotland, a half mile further north than Scapa distillery. Although the name of the whisky has “Highland” in the title, the name of the whisky does not refer to the Scottish Highlands, but rather to the fact that the distillery was founded on an area called 'High Park' which is distinguished from a ‘lower Park’ area nearby.
Highland Park malts 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.
Highland Park is home to several critically acclaimed whiskies, offering several proprietary bottlings by year. In 1984, they became the first whisky ever to have scored a rating of 100% from “The Scotland” newspaper’s tasting team.
Highland Park is made today, just as it was in 1798, using what they call their “five keystones of production”: aromatic peat, hand turned floor maltings, sherry oak casks, cool maturation, and cask harmonization.
Their peat is hand cut from the Hobbister Moor, no less than seven miles from the distillery. The moor is over 9,000 years old, going as deep as four meters. The barren woodless moor is composed layer upon layer of densely compacted vegetation. Rich in heather, the peat is dried naturally in the summer, then burned in ancient kilns, “where its heathery aromatic smoke infuses the malting barley.”
Highland Park is also one of the few distilleries that meticulously turns their malt by hand. Their barrels are cut from European and American oak, and crafted into staves at precisely 45°. This was the method used by the Vikings to make their longships watertight.
The staves are then shipped to Jerez in southern Spain where they’re made into casks, filled with Oloroso Sherry and left to mature for around two years, before being emptied and shipped back to Orkney to be refilled with whisky. These casks contribute to up to 80% of Highland Park whisky’s final flavors, and natural colorings.
Gordon Motion, Master Distiller, selects and combines up to 150 casks, leaving the newly married spirit to rest for at least a month before being bottled. The climate in Orkney is surprisingly temperate, reaching highs of only 16°C in summer and lows of around 2°C in winter, ideal conditions for long, cool and evenly paced maturation in the Highland warehouses.
This special Highland Park single malt is matured for 15 years in American ex-Oloroso sherry casks. The expression was first introduced in 2003, then re-released in 2016. Currently bottled at 43% ABV.
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86 (43% ABV)
Highland Park Distillery
This product is not available in AA, AE, AK, AL, AP, AR, DE, HI, IL, KY, MA, MS, NH, NY, OK, PA, PR, SD, TX, UT
Floral aromas on the nose, with notes of toffee, peppery spice, and lightly smoky peat. A round entry leads to a dryish full-bodied palate with heather, iodine, toffee, and spice flavors. The finish is long with fading notes of peat and toffee.