Located in the elegant, rugged, storm-weathered Orkney Islands you’ll find a distillery like no other. It is the Highland Park whisky distillery, and it is responsible for one of the most exciting, limited-edition whiskies we’ve seen in quite some time.
The distillery looks like something out of a fairytale, and it is clear from the onset that the location is steeped in history, and that they have a real passion for single malt Scotch. So much passion in fact, that they use methods to produce the whisky that are not too dissimilar to how they were over 225 years ago.
Having been founded in 1798, and standing prominently atop Kirkwall’s southern edge, the distillery proudly overlooks the town below. With 23 warehouses, 2 kilns, and 4 stills, this distillery’s roots can be traced back hundreds of years. In fact, their newest kiln is still more than a century old. The distillery itself is one of the ten oldest working distilleries in all of Scotland.
Maximum Flavour, Limited Availability
When we heard that Highland Park had teamed up with The Single Malt shop, we knew the wee dram produced would be nothing short of remarkable. And remarkable it most certainly is.
Selected personally by Gordon Motion, the Master Blender over at Highland Park, this whisky is limited to just 513 bottles, so when they’re gone, they gone.
Motion opted to bottle this dram at cask strength so as to not lose a single note of flavour or aroma. As there are of course a limited number of whiskies of this age to choose from, each one is nothing short of exquisite.
It’s All in the Cask
When aging a whisky, not only is time a very important factor, but so too is the cask. In fact, many would argue that it is the cask used to age the whisky that is the most important factor. Motion and the team over at Highland Park know this all too well, which is why they went above and beyond to source a cask that would do this wee dram justice.
Refill casks are not favoured by everybody, but that didn’t stop Gordon Motion from opting for an 18-year-old refill cask to impart max flavours, notes, and aromas to the whisky. The cask is responsible for up to 60% of a whisky’s flavour, so Motion had to get it right and strike the right balance between sweet, smoky, earthy, and fiery.
As Highland Park have such a wonderful working relationship with bodegas in Spain, they ensure they source the finest sherry casks possible. The sherry notes really help to give the whisky plenty of body, but also an oaky, smoky, sweet, and fudge-like finish that whisky connoisseurs have been raving about since summer of 2023.
Highland Park 18 Year Old Single Cask Whisky
Here at Greatdrams.com we like to think we know more than a thing or two about great whisky. You know who else fits that description? The Single Malt Shop, that’s who.
A premium specialist whisky retailer, The Single Malt Shop cannot speak highly enough of this 18-year-old single malt single cask bottled exclusively for them. Considered the perfect entry point for individuals looking to delve deeper into the wonderful and exciting world of premium whisky, Gordon Motion and Highland Park really are doing great things up in Orkney, and this whisky is a prime example of that.
Bottled at cask strength, there is plenty of bite present thanks to the whisky’s 57.40% ABV. This 18-year-old island region single malt is also a gorgeous amber honey colour that almost looks too good to drink. Note the emphasis on almost!
Highland Park use local heather-enriched peat, coupled with seasoned sherry casks to deliver the perfect balance of smoky, sweet, and aromatic. Throw in the environmental factors such as the salty sea air, and cool, but stable temperatures, and you have all the makings for one freaking awesome dram!
Present on the nose, you should find plenty of sweet toffee fudge, toasted oak, and vanilla ice cream. Sniff again, and candied lemon peel should shine through, as well as sweet heather honey, and a touch of aromatic smoky peat.
On the palate is where the magic really begins to happen. You should pick up toasted almonds, ground cinnamon and apple pie, pecan nuts and maple syrup, wild heather, along with a touch of local peat, and a hint of caramel fudge ice cream.
The finish lingers, leaving more fudge and vanilla notes, ground almonds, and a whisper of that gorgeous heather peat, giving just the right amount of earthy, floral and smoky notes.