Highland Park Dark Origins (70cl, 46.8%)
A dark expression which fits in with the distillery's origins – founder Magnus Eunson being a smuggler who worked in the darkness of night.
Highland Park Dark Origins celebrates the early days of Magnus Eunson's illicit distilling on Orkney, back before the distillery was even founded in 1798. Magnus worked as a butcher and church official by day, but by night he was a legendary whisky smuggler and distiller outwitting the exciseman. To honour their hero Highland Park have created a whisky with a suitably 'dark' character. Using 80% first-fill Sherry casks (20% refill) - 60% are first-fill European oak, with 20% being first-fill American oak.
The history of Highland Park distillery is shrouded in mystery, with even the identity of its founder being disputed. It was built on the remote island of Orkney in 1798, either by farmer David Robertson, or priest turned whisky smuggler Magnus Eunson. The first single malts were released in the 1970s, and the distillery has become known for its use of Orcadian peat to dry the barley (lighter than mainland or Islay peat), and sherry casks for maturation.
Highland Park was built by David Robertson all the way back in 1798. The distillery's relationship with blenders, Robertson & Baxter, saw it acquired by Highland Distillers in 1937, who were subsequently bought by Edrington in 1999, who run it today. The modern Highland Park single malt brand was first officially bottled in the 1970s, with the release of an 8 year old age statement, but distillery bottlings first appeared around the 1950s. The look of the brand has changed many times over the years, but its cult following and popularity has never diminished. It remains one of the most recognisable single malts in the world to this day.