Highland Park

Highland Park is the current most northerly distillery in Scotland. It was founded in 1798 by Magnus Eunson with the name referring to 'High Park'  rather than to an area of the Scottish Highlands.  The distillery is one of only seven in Scotland which still possess active malting floors, with peat drawn from the neaby Hobbister Moor.  A rebranding in 2017 saw the core range reduced to 10,12,18,25,30 & 40 year olds, with the 15 and 21 year olds removed from the lineup. However, it should be noted that few distilleries even possess the stock to produce a 40 year old which could be considered a core offering. 

Posted 24 August 2017

To say that Highland Park has been prolific over the last 12 months is rather the understatement. A veritable glut of new bottlings, from single casks, limited editions, travel exclusives and core range rebrands have been released with something to satisfy even the most hardened of HP enthusiast. In that regard, Highland Park Dragon Legend is rather the oddity as it seems to have sneaked out of Orkney with scarcely a whisper.

Posted 28 April 2017

Highland Park whisky and Viking-influenced brand stories are pretty much one and the same thing nowadays. Whilst the exact details of how the Norse conquered Orkney is still a debatable point, Vikings were doing what Vikings do on the island for over 600 years. Therefore, creating a series of whiskies named after the most powerful figures from the semi-legendary world of Earldom Orkney seems relatively fair game to me. 

Posted 10 July 2017

Whisky reviews all too often focus on comparing and judging against the soaring heights of vaunted bottles. Whilst in essence that’s perfectly understandable, the practice can lead to unrealistic expectations or simply an inability to enjoy something for its inherent qualities. Understanding a distillery's younger expressions helps us appreciate how their spirit develops over time and in different cask conditions. If you jump in at the deep-end right away you'll not only miss out on that journey, you'll potentially be setting yourself a high bar which will reduce your ability to understand and enjoy more commonly available expressions. 

Posted 01 June 2017

Single cask whisky is by its very nature idiosyncratic - each stave in each cask impacting on the development of a liquid which will be entirely unique and entirely finite. Over the course of 2016/17, Highland Park have had a brief sojourn away from tales of Viking derring-do to produce a range of Single Cask bottlings for Northern European markets.

Posted 05 September 2017

Highland Park 18 year old represents a significant milestone in my whisky journey for two reasons. My first encounter with it was nearly two decades ago. It was suggested by my Mother, that I should buy my Father ‘a nice bottle’ for a celebration, so I visited a well-stocked wine and spirits shop close to where I was working at the time and, rather unintentionally, ended up walking out with a bottle of 18 year old Orkney single malt.

Posted 26 June 2017

Highland Park 21 year old has not had an easy life. It was originally released in 2007 as a travel retail expression. In 2009 it was named 'Best Single Malt of the Year' at the World Whisky Awards and the resulting increased demand led to HP producing a second bottling at a disappointing lower ABV of 40%. Shortly after, the bottling disappeared off the shelves altogether, replaced by the 1990 Vintage.  Such was the clamour for the 21 year old, that at the time Highland Park simply did not have the suitable cask stocks in terms of age, type and quality to sate this demand.

Posted 30 November 2017

Well-aged Highland Park distilled back in May 1991 and kept in a 1st fill ex-Bourbon hogshead before being finished in Pedro Ximenez sherry. One of 201 bottles. Old and Dignified profile.

Posted 12 March 2018

Whilst fortified wines such as sherry and port have long been associated with whisky maturation, unfortified wines, your merlots, sauvignons, chardonnays etc are a relatively recent addition to the category. Over the last two decades, experimenting with different cask types, particularly for short ‘finishing’ periods has been widely adopted by the Scottish, Irish and American whisk(e)y industries. And yet, to many people’s tastes, whisky and wine often seem like awkward bedfellows. Fortunately, not so today, as we’ll be looking at a whisky that has both worked exceptionally well in a wine cask, but also been in matured in it for quite some period of time too.


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