Highland Park distillery

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Highland Park
Highland Park Distillery
Highland Park Distillery
Region: Island
LocationKirkwall, Orkney
OwnerEdrington Group
Founded1798
StatusOperational
No. of stills2 wash
2 spirit
Capacity2,500,000 litres
Highland Park
Age(s)(in years) 12, 15, 16 (duty-free), 18, 21, 25, 30, 40
Cask type(s)Bourbon
Sherry

Highland Park distillery is the northernmost single malt Scotch whisky distillery in the world, located on the Orkney Islands off the far north coast of Scotland, where the Atlantic Ocean turns into the North Sea[1].

Highland Park is considered by whisky insiders one of the greatest single malts in the world. It has been named "The Best Spirit in the World" on three separate occasions by F. Paul Pacult, America's foremost expert on distilled spirits. Highland Park has also performed well at international spirit ratings competitions. Its 25 Year Old whisky was the first spirit to ever receive a perfect 100-point score at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge. In 2018, two of its special distillery releases, The Light and The Dark were awarded a Double Gold medal each by the San Francisco World Spirits Competition[2]. In 2019 and for the fourth year running[3][4][5], Highland Park took home the Ultimate Spirits Challenge's top honor, the Chairman's Trophy for Best in Category[6].

In 2018, Highland Park ranked #2 behind sister distillery, The Macallan in whisky auction sales driven by growing demand for the distillery's special releases from whisky collectors[7].

History[edit]

Highland Park distillery was founded by Magnus Eunson, a butcher and church officer by day and illicit distiller and whisky smuggler by night. In 1798 he was caught illegally distilling whisky on the site. In 1826, nearly 30 years later, Highland Park received an official license to distill whisky[8].

The name of the distillery does not refer to the area of Scotland known as The Highlands, but rather to the fact that the distillery was founded on an area called 'High Park' distinguished from a lower area nearby.

Within the malthouse at Highland Park Distillery.

Production[edit]

The basic process at Highland Park is similar to that at other distilleries. However, there are some key differences that make Highland Park unique in the world of single malts.

Heathery peat[9]: Highland Park is the only distillery in the world to use peat from Orkney. Exposed to the elements and pounded relentlessly by gale-force winds, few trees survive Orkney’s harsh conditions. In absence of trees, the peat the distillery burns to smoke its hand-malted barley is densely compacted heather dating back 4,000 - 9,000 years. This peat burns slowly, delivering the distinctive aromatic smoke the distillery is known for.

Temperate weather: Although rainy and windy, the islands of Orkney are blessed with a surprisingly temperate climate, providing the perfect environment for whisky casks to quietly mature at an even pace, without being exposed to extremes in temperature.

Sherry-seasoned oak casks: Between 60-80% of a whisky’s flavor comes the cask in which it matures. Highland Park uses casks made of either American or European oak. These are built by hand in Spain, filled with Oloroso Sherry and left to season for two years. The casks are then emptied and sent to Orkney where they are filled with the new make spirit and left to mature for at least a decade – and up to five in the case of Highland Park 50 Year Old.

Character[edit]

Highland Park has a unique flavor profile that no other whisky has. The distillery's signature sherry seasoned oak casks deliver big, rich flavors while Orkney's unique heathery peat adds layers of aromatic smoke.

The Highland Park range includes permanent and limited edition whiskies that are all grounded in the distillery's trademark smoky character.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Pharms, words: Gabrielle (2018-08-10). "9 Things You Should Know About Highland Park Scotch Whisky". VinePair. Retrieved 2019-07-22.
  2. ^ "San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2018 Results" (PDF).
  3. ^ "2018 Ultimate Spirits Challenge Results | Spirit Product Awards". www.ultimate-beverage.com. Retrieved 2019-07-22.
  4. ^ "2017 Ultimate Spirits Challenge Results | Spirit Product Awards". www.ultimate-beverage.com. Retrieved 2019-07-22.
  5. ^ "2016 Ultimate Spirits Challenge Results | Spirit Product Awards". www.ultimate-beverage.com. Retrieved 2019-07-22.
  6. ^ "2019 Ultimate Spirits Challenge Results | Spirit Product Awards". www.ultimate-beverage.com. Retrieved 2019-07-22.
  7. ^ "Rare Whisky 101 2018 Report" (PDF).
  8. ^ Pharms, words: Gabrielle (2018-08-10). "9 Things You Should Know About Highland Park Scotch Whisky". VinePair. Retrieved 2019-07-22.
  9. ^ "Highland Park Whisky Distillery Tour". Gear Patrol. 2014-04-11. Retrieved 2019-07-22.

References[edit]

  • Buxton, Ian (2010). A Good Foundation: Highland Park, Orkney, established 1798: a 1924 account of the distillery. Kirkwall: Highland Park Distillery. OCLC 650967730.
  • Jackson, Michael (2004). Michael Jackson's Complete Guide to Single Malt Scotch, 5th edition. Running Press. pp. 309–311. ISBN 978-0-7624-1313-3.
  • Lerner, Daniel (1998). Single Malt & Scotch Whisky. Könemann. pp. 122–123. ISBN 978-3-8290-0418-3.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 58°58′6.97″N 2°57′19.62″W / 58.9686028°N 2.9554500°W / 58.9686028; -2.9554500