Highland park is the most northerly distillery in Scotland and can be found on the isle of Orkney. It has been there since 1798, which is impressive considering how cold it gets up there!
This is also a sign of the great malt that they make at Highland Park. It has won numerous awards, and has even won the accolade of Best Whisky in the World not one but three times.
This is quite a difference from the illicit stills that were first found on the site, set up by smuggler Magnus Eunson.
But this is a past that Highland Park hold dear and they see themselves more as “custodians” than managers. It is of no surprise then that they often celebrate the Norse gods in their drams, saying as it is the water of life that they are in possession of.
One of their finest drams has to be the Highland Park 21 Year Old. This whisky won the award of Best Single Malt of the Year at the 2009 World Whisky Awards
It is a sweet and smoky expression, with lots of big flavours and fantastic finish.
But before we get to the finish, let’s start with the nose. The aromas of the 21 Year Old are sweet and spicy, with lots of Sherry and caramel.
It is smooth and has a thick undertone of orange and dark chocolate, giving it great depth and character.
There is a light whiff of smoke throughout, giving a slightly warming sensation.
This is given more depth on the palate, with the smoke really coming into its own. The warmth is bolstered by spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg that have a slightly Sherried edge.
The orange and chocolate also make a reappearance. These are zesty with a slight bitter quality that sits well with the spice.
There are also a number of dried fruits, such as raisins and figs, adding a chewy texture.
The finish is full of flavour, with lots of smoke and sweet, saccharine notes. These play well together and are joined by a backdrop of Sherry, again, adding depth and refinement to the end.