Highland Park 1996 20 Year Old cask 11494 - XOP (70cl, 53%) ***sold***
Bottle No 148 of only 280 filled.
Xtra Old Particular by Douglas Laing is the premium version of the brand, and is reserved for casks the company considers the Laing "family jewels."
This one was distilled on Orkney in September 1996 and matured in one refill hogshead for 20 years until November 2016. Douglas Laing independently bottled this whisky for their Xtra Old Particular range, with only 280 bottles produced.
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.
Douglas Laing & Co was established in 1948 by Fred Douglas Laing, affectionately known as “FDL.” The company started out as a blending business, but over time their focus shifted towards independently bottlings single malts. Fred died in 1982, leaving the business to his two sons, Stewart and Fred Jr, who eventually carved it up in 2013, with Stewart leaving to establish Hunter Laing. Fred Jr and his daughter Cara now run Douglas Laing, which continues to bottle single malt and has also revived its blending business. Additionally, the company has recently moved into distilling as well, announcing plans to construct the new Clutha distillery in Glasgow, and taking over Strathearn in Perthshire in 2019.
Old Particular is Douglas Laing's flagship label, and was launched in 2013 after their Old Malt Cask series became part of the portfolio of the newly established Hunter Laing. Xtra Old Particular is the premium version of the brand, placed at the pinnacle of its Exceptional Single Casks range and is reserved for casks the company considers the Laing "family jewels.”