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Highland Park Valfather Single Malt Scotch Whisky
About Highland Park Valfather Single Malt Scotch WhiskyFounded 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 it's 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.
Highland Park Valfather is the third and final expression of the special edition Viking Legend releases – inspired by Odin, the mightiest of the Norse gods. Described by Highland Park as their most peated whisky released to date, it is matured entirely in refill casks which impart beautifully balanced layers of flavor and an incredibly complex character. Norse God Odin is most closely associated with wisdom, knowledge, sorcery, poetry, and war.
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Scotch is the most popular whisky in the world and is considered the king of them all! There are five whisky regions in Scotland (six if you count the not officially recognized Islands), and each of them produces spirits with unique properties and distinct tasting notes. (The type of grain used determents the type of the scotch.)
Malt whisky is made of malted barley, and grain whisky uses other grains like corn or wheat. Most of the time, a whisky is blended from different distilleries hence the name blended scotch, but if a malt whisky is produced in a single distillery, we get something extraordinary called a single malt.