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Distillery in Focus:           Highland Park
Region: Highlands (Islands)
Name: Highland Park Distillery.
Status: Active
Website: http://www.highland.park.co.uk
Telephone: 01856874619
E-Mail: distillery@highlandpark.co.uk
Address: Holm road, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1SU
Visitor centre: Yes
Owner: Edrington Group Ltd.
Established in 1798 (license acquired in 1825)
Stills: 2 Wash and 2 Spirit stills.
Percentage of single malts: 40%
Casks used for maturation are sherry and bourbon.

Contribute(d) to the following blends: Famous Grouse, Long John and Cutty Sark

Regular Bottling:
Highland Park 12 YO 40% (100% Sherry, 20% first fill)
Highland Park 15 YO 40% (75% first fill bourbon)
Highland Park 16 YO 40%
Highland Park 18 YO 43% (100% sherry, 35-45% first fill)
Highland Park 25 YO var%  (100% Sherry, 50% first fill)
Highland Park 30 YO 48.1% (15-20% bourbon)

For tasting notes, see below.

The standard labels of the 12, 18 and 25 YO Highland Park bottlings. These labels were changed at the end of 2006. Some limited editions of Highland Park (from left to right): The Ambassador Cask 2 (10 YO), The Highland Park St-Magnus (12 YO) and the special bottling for Switzerland (15 YO Dark Oloroso).

In addition to the "standard" range, Highland Park has released some limited editions such as Highland Park 1977 bicentenary 40%, Highland Park 1974 online tasting, Highland Park 1958 40YO 44% and several single casks bottling such as Ambassador Cask 1 and 2.

Highland Park is the most northern distillery in activity. It is also one of the rare distilleries to use hard water. However, in the future, the most northern distillery will be Blackwood in Shetlands once the production will start.


History of Highland Park

There are two version of the founding of the distillery:

1) The distillery was built in 1798 by Magnus Eunson or 2) The distillery was built in 1795 by David Robertson. Richard McKay owned the distillery between 1825 and 1826. In 1826 the distillery changed of ownership to John Robertson and Robert Borwick. Robertson sold the distillery to his partner, Robert Borwick and family, in 1830. George Borwick, the son of Robert, took over the distillery between 1852 and 1860. In the 1860s, when the distillery passed to Revd. James Borwick, the distillery was evaluated to just over £100. Owning a distillery was a morale conflict for James who sold the distillery to Mitchell and Eunson who sold in 1867 the distillery to the brokers Stuart and Mackay for £450. In 1868, the distillery was acquired by William Stuart and the assests were transferred to William Stuart, Stuart and Grant in 1878. In 1895, the distillery was acquired by James Grant of Glenlivet, who sold it to the Highland Distillers in 1937 for £185’000. The capacity of the production was increased in 1898 when two stills where added to the first two. The Edrington Group took over the distillery in November 1999, when Edrington acquired Highland Distillers plc. The production for 2006 is 2.1 mio LPA and for 2007, the plan is 2.3 mio LPA (the maximal capacity for the distillery).

Between 15 and 20% of all the barley used at Highland Park is produced on tradional floor maltings.
The kiln N°1 where the peat is burnt to give the peaty and smoky flavour to the barley. Kiln N°2 filled with coke to finish the kilning of the barley
The still house with two wash stills and 2 spirit stills. Some old casks of Highland Park stored in traditional dunnage.

For more photos of the Highland Park distillery, click here.

Source: www.highlandpark.co.uk, Distillery Visit, The Scotch Whisky Book by T. Bruce-Gardyne,  The Making of Scotch Whisky by JR Hume and MS Moss, and The Scotch Whisky Distilleries by Misako Udo.
©P.Brossard 09 Nov 06.

Tasted whiskies (73)

Official/Original bottlings (OB)  
Age  
Highland Park 5 YO (James Grant), OB, 43%, B:1960s Rating: 18/20
Highland Park 8 YO for Ferratero, OB, 43%, B: 1980s Rating: 14/20
Highland Park 15 YO, OB, 59.8% Cask 7473 for Switzerland Rating; 16/20
Highland Park 16 YO Thor, OB, 52.1%, B: 2012 Rating: 15/20
Highland Park Ice, 17 YO, OB, 53.9%, B:2016 Rating: 12/20
Highland Park 18 YO, OB, 43%, B: 2014 Rating: 15/20
Highland Park 21 YO "Duty Free", 47.9%, OB, B: 2008 Rating: 17/20
Highland Park 21 YO, OB, 47.5%, B:2012 Rating: 17/20
Highland Park 22 YO, Single Cask for Waldhaus am See, OB, 46%, B: 2011 Rating: 17/20
Highland Park 25 YO, OB, 48.1%, B: 2007 Rating; 16/20
Highland Park 30 YO, OB, 48.1%. B:2005 Rating: 13/20
   
Vintages  
Highland Park 1958 Dumpy, 17 YO, OB, 43%, B:1975. Rating: 17/20
Highland Park 1958 Dumpy, 18 YO, OB, 43%, B:1976 Rating: 18/20
Highland Park 1958 Dumpy Ferraretto Import, 21 YO, OB, 43%, B:1979. Rating: 17/20
Highland Park 1959, 21 YO, OB, 43%, B:1980. Rating: 18/20
Highland Park 1959, 21 YO, OB, 43%. Rating: 18/20
Highland Park 1960 for Ferraretto, 17 YO, OB, 43%, B: 1977. Rating: 17/20
Highland Park 1968 Orcadian Vintage, 45.6%, B: 2009 Rating: 15/20
Higland Park 1973 for Global Travel Retail, OB, 50.6%, B:2014. Rating: 16/20
Highland Park 1978 for Global Travel Retail, OB, 47.8%, 2014 Rating: 16/20
Highland Park 1990 for Travel Retail, OB, 40%, B: 2010 Rating: 15/20
Highland Park 1990 Single Cask for Maxxium Netherlands, 16 YO, 58.7%, B: 2006, c. 5831, 1272 b. Rating: 13/20
Highland Park 1994 for Travel Retail, OB, 40%, B: 2010 Rating: 12/20
Highland Park 1998 for Travel Retail, OB, 40%, B: 2010 Rating: 11/20
   
Non Specified  
Highland Park Origins, OB, 46.8%, B:2014. Rating: 14/20
Highland Park ESC III for Switzerland, OB, 59%, B: 2007 Rating: 15/20
Highland Park Earl of Magnus, 15 YO, OB, 52.6%, B:2009, 5976 b. Rating: 17/20
Highland Park 12 YO Saint Magnus Edition 2, OB; 55.0%, B: 2010 Rating: 08/20
Highland Park Freya, OB, 51.2% , B: 2013 Rating: 13/20
Highland Park Hjärta, OB, 12 YO, 58.1%, B: 2009. 3924 b. Rating: 15/20
Highland Park Ragnvard For Travel Retail, OB, 44.6%, B: 2013. Rating: 15/20
Highland Park Sigurd, OB, 43%, B: 2013 Rating: 11/20
Highland Park St-Magnus Label, OB, 100 Proof , B: 1950s Rating: 15/20
Highland Park St Magnus Label, OB, 70 Proof, B:1960s Rating: 17/20
Highland Park Thorfinn For Travel Retail, OB, 45.1%, B:2013. Rating: 17/20
   

 

Independent bottlings (IB) and "anonymous Highland Park"  
   
Acla Selection  
Highland Park 1992 Acla Selection N°4, 24 YO, Acla Selection, 50.0%, B:2016, 82 b. Rating: 16/20
   
Adelphi  
Highland Park 1992, 13 YO, Adelphi, 65.2% Rating: 14/20
   
Alchemist (The)  
Highland Park 15 YO, The Alchemist, 46%, B: 2008 Rating: 12/20
   
Bottlers, The  
Highland Park 1972, 24 YO, The Bottlers, 52.8%, B:1996, c. 1639 Rating: 16/20
Highland Park 1978, 18 YO, The Bottlers, 57.6%, c.3476 Rating: 14/20
   
Cadenhead's (inlcuding Duthie's)  
Highland Park 1957 For Samaroli, 22 YO, Cadenheads, 80 proof (45.8%), B:1977. Rating: 16/20
Highland Park 1978, Duthie's, 46%, B: 1993 Rating: 15/20
   
Carn Mor "Celebration of the cask"  
Highland Park 1989, 25 YO, Carn Mor, 49.4%, B: 2014. Rating: 15/20
   
Cooper's Choice  
Highland Park 1995 Sherry Finish, Cooper’s Choice, 46%, B:2015, 300 b. Rating: 14/20
   
Douglas Laing  
Highland Park 1972 OMC, 27 YO, D. Laing, 50%, B: 1999, 315 b Rating: 16/20
   
Duncan Taylor  
Highland Park 1966, 40 YO, D. Taylor, 40.7%, B: 2006, c. 4630 Rating: 17/20
Highland Park 1966 for the Whisky Fair, 38 YO, D. Taylor, 42.4%, , B: 2005, 168 b. Rating: 16/20
   
Dun Eideann  
Highland Park 1974, 16 YO, Dun Eideann, 57%, B:1991 Rating: 17/20
   
Gordon & MacPhail  
Highland Park MacPhails, 30 YO, G&M, 43%, B:2006 Rating: 18/20
Highland Park 1955 for Meregalli, G&M, 54.6%, B: 1989 Rating: 17/20
Highland Park 1970 For Sestante, 16 YO, G&M, 59%, B: 1986, 258 b. Rating: 17/20
Highland Park 1970 Centenary, G&M, 40%, B:1995. Rating: 18/20
Highland Park 1995, G&M, 57.9%, B: 2006, c. 1329, 307 b. Rating: 14/20
   
Jack Wiebers  
Highland Park 1981 Scottish Castle, 25 YO, JWWW, 52.8%, c.6064 Rating: 17/20
   
Malts of Scotland  
Highland Park 1980 Angel’s choice,35 YO, Malts of Scotland, 52.3%, B:2015, c.14044, 92 bottles. Rating: 16/20
   
Murray McDavid  
Highland Park 1989 Bourbon/ Grenache, 17 YO, MMD, 46% Rating:  10/20
   
A.D. Rattray  
Highland Park 1990, 23 YO, A.D. Rattray, 56.2%, B: 2014, 536 b. Rating: 14/20
   
Samaroli  
Fragment of Scotland Orkney 1977, Samaroli, 50% Rating: 13/20
   
Scott's selection  
Highland Park 1975, 25 YO, Scott’s selection, 52%, B: 2000 Rating: 14/20
Highland Park 1986, Scott’s selection, 55.3%, B: 2005 Rating: 12/20
   
Signatory  
Highland Park 1972, 27 YO, Signatory, 54.3%, B: 2000, c. 4337, 175 b. Rating: 18/20
Highland Park 1990, 13 YO, Signatory, 56.5%, Cask 15690 Rating: 11/20
Highland Park 1991 for LMDW, 17 YO, Signatory, 46%, c. 15098, 820 b. Rating: 17/20
Highland Park SFTC, 19 YO, Signatory, 53.5%. B:2004 Rating: 13/20
   
Silver Seal (Sestante)  
Highland Park 1987, 28 YO, Silver Seal, 43.3%, B:2016 Rating: 13/20
Highland Park 1992, 18 YO, Silver Seal, 53.1%, B: 2010 Rating: 17/20
   
Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS)  
Highland Park 4.104 1974, 32 YO, SMWS, 51.4%, B: 2006. Rating: 18/20
   
The Whisky Agency  
Highland Park 1975 joint bottling with the Nectar, 35 YO, TWA, 51.6%, B: 2011, 195 b. Rating: 17/20
Highland Park 1977, 33 YO, TWA, 52.3%, B: 2010, 193 b. Rating: 17/20
Highland Park 1981 Funghi, 30 YO, TWA, 52.2%, B: 2011, 198 b. Rating: 16/20
Highland Park 1984 Bugs, 27 YO, TWA, 52.5%, B: 2011 Rating: 15/20
Highland Park 1986 for Sweden, 25 YO, The Whisky Agency, 52.5% Rating: 12/20
   
Whisky doris  
Highland Park 1995 The Dram, 14 YO, Whisky Doris, 46%, B: 2010, c. 1468 Rating: 14/20