Known for their brave and uncompromising approach, Highland Park boasts a rich history of more than 220 years of whisky making and a proud lineage that can be traced from its founder, Magnus Eunson, all the way back to early Viking settlers. Shaped by its remote surroundings and nurtured in a temperate climate, the distillery is situated in Kirkwall on the Orkney Islands, 16km from the northernmost reaches of the Scottish mainland, almost in the Arctic Circle.
Steadfast in tradition, Highland Park has over the years distinguished itself as the only distillery to uphold all five traditional keystones of production: slow burning aromatic peat, hand-turned floor maltings, sherry seasoned oak casks, cool maturation and slow harmonisation, giving rise to a growing legacy of superior whiskies with distinctively sweet-smoky flavours, crafted in the old way by modern generations of “Vikings”.
The latest addition to its core collection has recently arrived in the form of the 15 Year Old Viking Heart. Created from casks hand-selected by esteemed master whisky maker Gordon Motion, the 15 Year Old contains a high percentage of first-fill European oak sherry seasoned casks which delivers a warm, dry spicy note whilst first-fill American oak sherry seasoned casks back this up with notes of vanilla and crème brûlée. A small proportion of refill casks allow the DNA of Highland Park whisky to shine through, namely its gentle heather peat and lightly fruity character.
“Our insistence on specially constructed sherry casks delivers a richness of flavour. Vanilla and citrus notes lead and combine with the unique fragrant peat and creamy mouthfeel synonymous with Highland Park. The hand selection of quality first-fill and refill casks for Highland Park 15 Year Old delivers a rich colour which is 100% natural. Bottled at 44% ABV, this retains more of the compounds which deliver a whisky with extra body and enhanced mouthfeel,” prides Gordon.
Inspired by antique earthenware vessels that Highland Park used to store its whisky a century or two ago, the Viking Heart is presented in an elaborately embossed ceramic bottle, created in partnership with UK-based porcelain and earthenware manufacturer Wade Ceramics of historic renown. Glazed inside and out, the lead-free ceramic decanter is 100% food safe and decorated with the lion and serpent motif that appears on many of Highland Park’s glass bottles. Look closely at the back of the bottle and you’ll find the heart motif that inspired the whisky’s name.
In the following video, Highland Park’s master whisky maker Gordon Motion whets your appetite with a tantalising first-hand account of the 15 Year Old Viking Heart’s tasting notes:
The Highland Park 15 Year Old Viking Heart is now available to purchase. To find out more, visit the Highland Park website.