Highland Park Distillery
Highland Park distillery is situated on the island of Orkney. It’s the most northerly distillery in Scotland (the second most northerly is Scapa an approximate 30 minute walk away) and was established in 1798.
The Orkneys were once inhabited by the Vikings, Scandanavian raiders who conquered and then integrated with much of Scotland around 1000 years ago. This Norse heritage is still strong in the area and is reflected in Highland Park’s branding.
Orkney is very exposed to the elements and is almost treeless due to the wind which can reach 100mph. The distillery sources its peat from nearby Hobbister Moor which has a high heather component imparting floral characteristics on the whisky which burns in old kilns.
Highland Park has a long established reputation for its fine flavour of malt and peat. In the 1880’s Miltonduff Distillery in Speyside and others sourced peat from Orkney to contribute to the character of their whisky. The link was William Stuart was proprietor of Miltonduff and part owner of Highland park.
Highland Park produce some interesting whiskies. The Rebus30 10 year old expression is a collaboration between the distillery and crime fiction author Ian Rankin to celebrate 30 years of his Rebus novels. Rebus is a detective character known for his liking of whisky.
Wings of the Eagle 16 year old whisky pays homage to Orkney’s wild and windswept location where waters are stormy and trees struggle to survive.
Highland Park tours take on a Viking theme. The Viking Legend Experience (£100) is a two hour tour which culminates in a tasting from the Valhalla Range including Thor and Odin whisky expressions.