The rich and peaty VALKYRIE single malt was awarded 99/100 and the Chairman’s Trophy for Best in Category by the 2017 Ultimate Spirits Challenge.
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. 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.
Highland Park is proud to introduce VALKYRIE Special Edition single malt Scotch whisky. In partnership with renowned Danish designer Jim Lyngvild, VALKYRIE is the first in a series of three VIKING LEGEND releases inspired by the rich Viking heritage of Highland Park’s Orkney Islands’ home.
Triple matured in American oak sherry, American oak bourbon and Spanish oak sherry casks, VALKYRIE dials up the aromatic Orcadian peat resulting in a richer level of honey sweetness on the palate than Highland Park 12 Year Old. The result is an exquisitely balanced whisky with notes of smooth vanilla, spicy ginger and lingering aromatic smokiness. VALKYRIE was awarded 99/100 and the Chairman’s Trophy for Best in Category by the 2017 Ultimate Spirits Challenge.
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91.8 (45.9% ABV)
Highland Park Distillery
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A sharp tang of sweet green apples and ripening lemons on the nose. The palate is a bewitching mix of oriental spices. Driven by European oak sherry-seasoned casks, American oak sherry-seasoned casks and bourbon casks, the flavor profile is creamy vanilla with spicy, sweet, preserved ginger and lingering smokiness with hints of licorice. The finish is exquisitely balanced, the long and lingering finish delivers waves of warm aromatic smoke and richly ripened fruit.