Highland Park's spectacular 12 Year Old expression had a full-on Viking make-over in 2017, dubbed Viking Soul (the 18 Year Old is also getting a redesign, too). Stylish new livery and matching sub-name (Viking Honour) aside, the Orcadian single malt Scotch whisky remains the same - delicious as ever! ~ Master of Malt
Located in Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands, Highland Park Distillery is the second-northest single malt Scotch whiskey distillery in Scotland (Kimbland Distillery on Sanday is 22 miles farther north). Magnus Eunson, a butcher and church official by day and an illegal distiller and whiskey smuggler by night, built the Highland Park Distillery. He was busted on the premises illegally producing alcohol in 1798. Nearly 30 years later, in 1826, Highland Park was granted a formal whiskey distilling permit. The distillery's name refers not to the Scottish Highlands but rather to the fact that it was built on territory known as 'High Park,' which set it apart from a nearby lower region. Highland Park uses the same distillation procedure as other distilleries. In comparison to other peats, the peat used in Highland Park has a larger percentage of heather. The whiskey is matured in sherry barrels, either manufactured of American or European oak and bought from Spanish Oloroso sherry makers. F. Paul Pacult, America's preeminent authority on distilled spirits, has named Highland Park 'The Best Spirit in the World' three times. At the Ultimate Spirits Challenge, its 25-year-old whiskey became the only beverage to ever achieve a flawless 100-point rating. The Light and The Dark, two of its limited-edition distillery releases, received Double Gold medals from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2018. Highland Park received the Chairman's Trophy for Best in Category at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge in 2019 for the fourth consecutive year. Due to rising interest from whiskey enthusiasts in the distillery's limited-edition whiskies, Highland Park finished second in whisky auction sales in 2018 after sister company The Macallan.