I woke, appeared up by way of the spherical window on the roof, and smiled. It was dry!
Amy and I, together with the 2 children, had determined to vacation a bit of nearer to homethis summer time. We left Cawdor early on our journey towards Aberdeen, the place we’d board our Ferry for the in a single day crusing north to Shetland. There, we’d start a tour of the northern isles. After visiting mates in Lerwick we took two additional ferries, heading north to essentially the most northerly inhabited a part of the British Isles: Unst.
Being an adventurous household, we arrange camp on a distant seashore and sat with our mates having fun with just a few drams while the children slept. For these unfamiliar with this a part of the world: darkness does not likely descend; it was like noon at 2 am! After our journey to the “prime of the world” (as the children known as it) we returned south once more to the principle ferry port to bid farewell to our mates and await onward transportation to Orkney.
Now, Orkney was new to me and the children, however Amy had lived there for a few years as a teen. She needed to indicate us a few of her outdated stomping grounds, and this was nice, however actually Amy knew that there was two locations I used to be actually keen on (and one particularly). So it got here to be that on our second day on Orkney we went on a whisky journey (in addition to a seashore and a few fish and chips… nicely, I had an area Orkney delicacy generally known as a “Pattie,” as I’m not eager on fish.
First cease was Scapa Distillery. Some upkeep work was being undertaken however this didn’t cease me popping into the store and having an amazing chat with the workers there… and a wee dram. Images had been taken for my archive, after which it was spherical to Kirkwall and Highland Park. I’ve lengthy loved the whisky of Highland Park, and admit to proudly owning extra bottles than I actually ought to. I’ll blame Amy, as she has purchased a good few of them as presents (she is aware of me too nicely).
However, this was my first go to to the distillery, and I believe I used to be a bit of excited, however maybe that’s a narrative for one more time. Secure to say I loved the expertise and – though Orkney just isn’t the best/most cost-effective place to go to – I’d say that if Highland Park is your factor then its definitely worth the effort. Later, we headed to the purchasing space of Kirkwall, which in fact meant a go to to the Highland Park retail outlet in situ there. The workers in retailer had been improbable, pleasant, and useful, and I left with a bottle of 18 12 months outdated.
Of late Highland Park has taken a bit of little bit of a knocking for what some understand to be a over focus on the advertising and marketing versus the whisky. In some quarters itis felt that the present Viking theme is considerably excessive and is a bit of gimmicky, maybe? I can see the argument, however for me: I prefer it, as a lot as I’m Scottish, and that Orkney is Scottish. I’m conscious that the Norse tradition is a giant a part of these northern isles, and I can hint my circle of relatives’s heritage again to each Shetland and Orkney, and the children additionally purchased me a DNA package a number of years in the past and my DNA has a proportion from Denmark, so: hell yeah, I’m a Viking!!
Highland Park have been producing whisky since 1798. The liquid immediately is just about completely peated, however its mentioned that the peat used within the manufacturing is a “softer” peat than that utilized in Islay whisky, for instance. One purpose given is that there are subsequent to no timber on Orkney, thus the peat is fashioned from decomposed mosses slightly than timber. Both manner, it presents a whisky that – while peated – comes throughout to many as being extra light on the palate, maybe “peat lite?”
The distillery produces plenty of core vary drams, with the primary rung on the ladder in most nations being the 10-year-old. Within the US they do launch the “Magnus” as a non-age assertion bottle, however I can’t touch upon it as I’ve but to discover a strategy to get a bottle over to me right here in Scotland.
From the ten we work up by way of 12, 14, 18, 21, into the excessive ages and the even increased costs. Alongside the age assertion bottles you’ll discover some non-age-stated (NAS) expressions, equivalent to Valfather, Valkyrie, and Valknut, or anniversary releases/particular bottlings equivalent to for the Scottish ballet or the Royal Navy Submarine Service, all launched in a equally formed bottle with differing colored glass and labels.
Highland Park 18 Yr Previous Viking Delight – Evaluation
Color: Mild bronze gold.
On the nostril: It’s wealthy, a touch that resonates of mature oak, there’s a floral aroma combined with a easy fruit salad, topped with glace cherries, and I definitely sense honey, completely topped with a word of fragrant smoke.
Within the mouth: A creamy mouthfeel, nearly decadent, it’s a really full flavour with no house to cover; the honey on the nostril is there, alongside toffee, or maybe caramel. Oh, and a touch of espresso. And sure, the smile comes throughout your face as you sip as a result of that smoke can not conceal its origins, you recognize its peat. Finishes tender, full, and lengthy… oh, it’s lingering.
Effectively, the journey north to the islands was beautiful, and price it. After I speak of its value it’s in relation to high quality household time and in relation to fulfilling a long-held need to go to Highland Park. In relation to price in respect of precise prices: it could have been cheaper to fly overseas and spend two weeks on a seashore ingesting rum! Sure, visiting Scotland’s northern isles just isn’t low cost, however who places a financial worth on having fun with first rate whisky on the island it was made? While Highland Park takes its knocks, gross sales nonetheless soar, the stuff nonetheless strikes of the shelf, and personally – while I nonetheless can – I’ll proceed to drink/change/drink Highland Park 18 (together with others). It’s, in my humble opinion, a darn pleasurable dram!
Lead picture courtesy of Highland Park.