, Ready, but will keep

Highland Park Dark Origins, Orkney, Single Malt Whisky, 46.8%

Highland Park Dark Origins, Orkney, Single Malt Whisky, 46.8%


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Scores and Reviews

OTHER - Nose
Dry oloroso sherry, spiced orange tea and crème brûlée. Water brought out dense sherry trifle with dark fruits and cherries.
Smoky bacon, char grilled pork rib and heavy caramelised roasting tins. With water, more juicy like rhumptof with plum and rhubarb.
Warm, earthy and ashy.
The sherry masks more subtle flavours so it feels a little one-dimensional.

Annabel Meikle - Whisky Magazine Issue 123 Nose
Sooty, earthy and oily, coupled with a slight smoked meat note, a hint of wet sherry casks and barbecue sauce.
Sooty and peppery. Behind the cloud of dustiness lies a hint of drying oak and a very fine sweetness (dark honey) but it's hard to get past the smoke.
Dry… and then more dryness thrown in for good measure alongside the soot.
I'm thinking this is the chimney sweep's choice of whisky. Those looking for a unique style of smoke will be pleased, but for me, it lacks that hint of finesse needed to completely raise the roof.

Neil Ridley - Whisky Magazine Issue 123

The Producer

Highland Park Distillery, Orkney

Highland Park Distillery, Orkney

Highland Park, one of only 2 distilleries in the Orkney Isles, is the world's most northerly distillery. It was founded in 1798 by Magnus Euson. Until it was licensed in 1825 it's production was illicit and Euson was assisted in evading the excisemen by a kinsman who was a Kirk elder and hid the contraband under the pulpit. By the 1880s Highland Park had an established reputation and at one time both the King of Denmark and the Emperor of Russia declared it to be the finest whisky they had ever tasted.

Highland Park has been described as the greatest all-rounder in the world of malt whisky. Its product retains much that is traditional, even original. It has its own floor maltings and peat beds and two traditional peat-fired kilns. Many believe the unique character of Highland Park comes from the local peat beds which have absorbed the salt spray of centuries and which impart a rooty, heathery quality to the whisky. Only a carefully measured amount is used to fire the kiln for each malting. Oak casks are then used for the maturation process. As a single malt, Highland Park matures superbly. In blends, it is said to be a catalyst, bringing to great flavours of the other contributing malts.

The Region


Only part of Scotland for the last 500 or so years, Orkney feels like it’s a long way from anywhere else. The windswept collection of 70 small islands lies off the notherern coast of Scotland and is home to the most northerly outpost of whisky making in the world. Two distilleries vie for the honour of the furthest north; Highland Park and Scapa, the winner by about 300mtrs is Highland Park

Many whisky enthusiasts consider Highland Park to be the best all-rounder there is. It manages to combine a richness and elegance, which appeals to lovers of Speysides; with just enough peat to keep the lovers of Islays interested.

Scapa was opened in 1885, it was silent for two years from 1934 and was owned for a time by the owners of Glen Scotia distillery in Campbeltown. Scapa was rebuilt in 1959 and internal improvements were made in 1978.

The water used is naturally very peaty, as a result the malt is left unpeated. The distillery has a single pair of stills, which date from 1978 and one of them is of the Lomond type, a rare feature. It has a short, stubby top instead of the elongated conical heads customary in Scottish distilleries.

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