Highland Park Continues Viking Legends Series with Limited Release of VALKNUT

HP-2018-Valknut-Hero-Bottle+Carton-750ml-CMYK-687x720-d74f15ed-8a92-4eb4-8ab9-d5d15c816a71Highland Park Distillery (Kirkwall, Scotland) has officially announced the Limited Release of VALKNUT Single Malt Scotch Whisky, the second expression in its Viking Legends Trilogy.

Preceded by the mid-2017 release of the critically-acclaimed VALKYRIE, VALKNUT has arrived to serve as the second offering “in a series of three Viking Legends releases inspired by the rich Viking heritage and mythology of Highland Park’s Orkney Islands home.”  Meaning “‘knot of those killed in battle’ and represented visually by three interlinked triangles”, the Valknut is a symbol “closely associated with the Norse god Odin, who guided the spirits of the dead to Valhalla.”

The story of the Valknut is compelling and I wanted to ensure that the design feature of this packaging was a fitting match to the whisky created by Master Whisky Maker Gordon Motion. Also, as VALKNUT is part of a series of three expressions, I made sure that there is continuity in the style of the packaging; for example, the frieze design at top is consistent in look, but the story of the symbol has been brought to the front panel.”

 

– Jim Lyngvild, renowned Danish designer & artist behind the packaging for VALKNUT

As a whisky, VALKNUT (46.8% ABV) is a “bolder, more intense” Single Malt Scotch from Highland Park that boasts a “drier and smokier profile and a higher ABV than VALKYRIE.”  A maturation period predominantly spent in American sherry seasoned oak casks provides VALKNUT with a “a slightly higher phenolic level compared to VALKYRIE” while a “small amount of Orkney ­grown tartan barley . . . adds to its smokier edge and lingering sweet, spicy finish.”

VALKNUT is rolling out in the U.S. now and will be available as long as supplies last.  You can expect to find this Limited Release offering available in 750ml bottles (suggested retail price of $80 each) at ReserveBar.com, Caskers.com and at select retailers located throughout the U.S.  Prost!

Vital Information for VALKNUT from Highland Park Distillery

Release – Limited, September 2018
Style – Single Malt Scotch Whisky
ABV – 46.8%
Treatment – Aged predominantly in American sherry seasoned oak casks
Natural Cask-Driven Color (no additives) – Light & golden
Nose – Toasted vanilla pods, cracked black pepper, oak shavings, cloves, anise, aromatic smoke
Palate – Sweet, aromatic cloves join forces with tangy hints of anise
Finish – Intensely balanced and bold; leaves a lingering memory of aromatic peat smoke & sweet spices
Fun Fact – On the story of the Valknut: “Viking sagas tell of the Valkyries, the fierce angels of Norse mythology who combed the battlefields for the bravest fallen warriors. Vikings who met an honorable death were marked out by the symbol of the Valknut and spirited away by the Valkyries to Valhalla to join Odin’s mighty army and prepare for Ragnarok, the battle of the end of the world.”
Availability – 750ml bottles

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Tasting Notes – Spirits Edition: Full Volume from Highland Park Distillery

HP_17_Full_Volume_700ml_bottle_carton_PNG-768x864For this special mid-week installment of Tasting Notes, we take a moment to indulge ourselves with an afternoon dram of FULL VOLUME from Highland Park Distillery (Kirkwall, Scotland).

Just as a musician works with his/her “amps and equalizers [to maintain] critical balance at high volume by fine-tuning musical frequencies”, Highland Park’s Master Whisky Maker, Gordon Motion, uses his skills to ensure “that every individual wave of flavor finds its perfect place in the beautifully harmonized final spirit.”  FULL VOLUME illustrates this point by striking a balance between two styles: Bourbon and Scotch Whisky.  Originally distilled in 1999, FULL VOLUME is a Single Malt Scotch Whisky that has been matured in “100% ex-bourbon casks rather than Highland Park’s traditional sherry-seasoned ones.”  This lengthy rest ultimately produced a 47.2% ABV Whisky that offers harmonized “flavors of creamy vanilla and sweet citrus fruits from the bourbon casks, balanced by Highland Park’s characteristic aromatic smokiness.”

FULL VOLUME is available now in specially-packaged 750ml bottles for the suggested retail price of $100.  You can expect to find this Limited Release Whisky on shelves at select specialist retailers located throughout the U.S.

Now that we are all a bit more familiar with the inspiration behind FULL VOLUME, it appears it is finally time to find a good chair, grab a glass and crank it to eleven with some Tasting Notes!

Tasting Notes for FULL VOLUME from Highland Park Distillery

Appearance:  Poured neat from a tasting vial, FULL VOLUME presents itself as a brilliantly clear whisky that is light straw yellow in color.  When held to direct light, the color holds for the most part but a touch of vibrant gold builds at its center.  The whisky is slick on the glass, coating the sides with a wide tract of slow-falling legs that eventually meet to create a complete oil slick that never loses its hold of the glass.

Aroma:  The nose begins with rich and inviting tones of vanilla and coconut.  That sweetness is then brightened up with notes of lemon and orange zest.  Tropical fruits bloom from the citrus to add notes of mango and papaya.  The expected presence of peat finally surfaces to close out the profile with some light smoke that works alongside just a touch of toffee.

Taste:  The grains and peat smoke quickly grab your attention here, but immediately mellow out to reveal citrus tones that come across as carefully grilled lemon and orange.  Sweeter, candied lemon tones then force through and bring with them juicy exotic fruits such as mango, pineapple and papaya.  Vanilla smooths it all out, creating a combined quality that mimics a lemon ice box pie that has just a bit of cinnamon in the crust.  The experience finishes with a pleasant combination of coconut and banana.

Mouthfeel:  Smooth and slightly creamy on the palate, FULL VOLUME has a beautifully long finish that allows you to fully savor notes of coconut and smoke.  That 47.2% ABV is nothing to scoff at, but it is incredibly well behaved and allows each sip to be effortless and thoroughly enjoyable. Not at all harsh or aggressive.

Final Thoughts:  If you are a bourbon drinker that has been looking for a way into the Scotch Whisky game, FULL VOLUME just might be your gateway.  Although distinct and attention-getting, the peat and smoke in this offering are far more reserved than you will find in most Scotch Whiskies.  The bourbon casks supply approachability with those familiar, gorgeous notes of vanilla and coconut, and the overall fruitiness – both the citrus and tropical fruits – of this expression keeps things light, bright and dynamic.  Just like the music that inspired it, this unique spirit comes across as a smooth, free-flowing thought piece as it evokes memory while stimulating contemplation and imagination. All in all, FULL VOLUME is bourbon reminiscent while still retaining its character and heritage as a Scotch Whisky, and that makes for one hell of a memorable sip. Be sure to check it out the next time you are on the hunt for something special to add to the home bar.  Prost!

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Image Credit: Mashing In/Guillermo Woolfolk. The other two images displayed above are the property of Highland Park Distillery.

 

 

Highland Park Distillery Introduces THE LIGHT 17 Year Old Scotch Whisky

HP-Runes-The-Light-Pack-700ml-768x902Highland Park Distillery (Kirkwall, Scotland) has officially announced the extremely limited release of THE LIGHT, a 17 Year Old Scotch Whisky aged on American oak.

Created as the striking antithesis to Highland Park’s recently released THE DARK, THE LIGHT is the second offering in a two-part series that “shares the story of the noble Viking warriors who are [Highland Park’s] ancestors, of [their] contrasting island seasons and of the intense balance of [their] whisky.”  Representing the “spring and summer in Orkney”, THE LIGHT is a 17 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky that gets its light golden color from being aged in 100% refill American oak barrels.  Clocking in at a smooth 52.99% ABV, THE LIGHT offers a sensory experience filled with notes of caramelized pears, nutmeg, vanilla, peat, cedar, oak and light smoke.

With only 28,000 bottles – 700ml or 750 ml bottles, depending on country – produced, THE LIGHT is available now as a highly limited release.  You can expect to find this Special Release at select specialist retailers located in the U.S. and across the world.  Prost!

Vital Information for THE LIGHT from Highland Park Distillery

Release – Special/Limited, May 2018
Style – Single Malt Scotch Whisky 
ABV – 52.99% (106 Proof)
Treatment – Matured in 100% refill American Oak barrels
Flavors – Caramelized pear | Nutmeg | Vanilla | Peat | Cedar wood | Oak | Light smoke
Fun Fact – A description of the inspiration behind this whisky series: “Light and dark are concepts that exist in opposition, yet together create a perfect balance. One cannot exist without the other; as one appears, the other disappears; together they create something greater than themselves – in nature, a perfect, continuous cycle.”
Availability – 700ml or 750ml bottles (size depends on country)
Distribution – Worldwide

 

Father’s Day Gift Guide From Highland Park

HighlandParklogoFather’s Day is just around the corner and Highland Park Distillery (Kirkwall, Scotland) has released a Scotch Whisky Gift Guide that makes it easier than ever to hook dad up with the perfect bottle.

Dad.  A guy that we all tend to think of as a person who is wise, experienced, and knows exactly what he likes and wants.  Coincidentally, people also characterize Scotch drinkers with those same attributes . . . so why not combine the two this Father’s Day?

It just so happens that Highland Park currently has a stunning array of Scotch Whiskies currently available on shelves and they have provided us all with a handy gift guide that breaks them all down.  Whether dad is new to whisky or has enjoyed Scotch for years, there is truly “an expression for every type of whisky-loving dad.”  Just check out the descriptions of the whiskies below, match a one to your father’s tastes, and give him a thoughtful gift on June 17 that he can enjoy and savor for months.  Prost!

HP_17_Magnus_Old_Fashioned_serve_and_bottle-587x720-61e031cf-4ef7-4084-abb5-a3664d6c985eFor the dad dedicated to tradition:

MAGNUSHighland Park stays true to their founder’s bold and uncompromising approach to whisky making – very little has changed the last 220 years. Magnus celebrates the unbroken traditions with a single malt whisky, matured in sherry seasoned American oak casks, that delivers notes of sweet vanilla, overlaid with distinctive aromatic smokiness. Magnus is a recent Gold Medal Winner in the 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

Flavors: lemon | vanilla sponge cake | caramelized pineapple | aromatic peat smoke | sweet violets

ABV: 40%

$40 RRP / 750 ml

18-year-old-pack-768x1039-532x720-4fc8097c-891b-4b12-862d-983838ce047fFor the proud craftsman:

18-YEAR-OLD – Named Best Spirit in the World in the Spirit Journal on two separate occasions, the intense balance of flavors going in Highland Park’s 18 Year Old owes everything to the distillery’s five traditional keystones of production. Slow burning, aromatic peat, Sherry seasoned European oak casks, cool maturation in Orkney’s temperate island climate and a long and unhurried harmonization process.

Flavors: Cherries | dark chocolate | toffee | marzipan | heather honey | aromatic peat smoke

ABV: 43%

$140 RRP / 750 ml

HP_17_Full_Volume_700ml_bottle_carton_PNG-768x864For the music-loving dad:

FULL VOLUME – This whisky was created using 100% ex-bourbon casks rather than Highland Park’s traditional sherry-seasoned ones. Distilled in 1999, FULL VOLUME was filtered at just over 4oC and delivers flavors of creamy vanilla and sweet citrus fruits from the bourbon casks, balanced by Highland Park’s characteristic aromatic smokiness.

Flavors: Vanilla | Coconut | Mango | Pineapple | Cedar Wood | Lemon peel | Vanilla pods | Light smoke

ABV: 47.2%

$100 RRP / 750 ml

HP_17_The_Dark_750ml_Pack_Trio_WEB-720x720-8fe6f19d-7da1-40f7-807f-44041a7eca9cFor the whisky connoisseur:

THE DARK – A 17-year-old since malt whisky that has been matured exclusively in first fill sherry-seasoned European oak casks. The result is a perfectly balanced whisky packed with flavors of dried fruit and spices overlaid with hints of smoky peat. With a limited release of just 4,500 bottles in the USA, THE DARK will be succeeded by THE LIGHT in summer 2018.

THE DARK is a recent Double Gold Medal Winner in the 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, named Best Distillers’ Single Malt Scotch – 13 to 19 Years.

Flavors: dried fruits | cinnamon | toasted almonds | cedar wood | fruit cake | light smoke

ABV: 52.9%

$300 RRP / 750ml

 

**Editor’s Note** Before the letters begin filling our inbox, we are completely aware that women are just as likely to enjoy Scotch as men. So, if mom happens to enjoy a nightcap of fine whisky, please feel free to use the gift guide above for Mother’s Day as well.

Highland Park Introduces MAGNUS Single Malt Scotch Whisky

magnus-pack-768x1039Highland Park Distillery (Kirkwall, Scotland) has officially announced the North American release of MAGNUS, the distillery’s newest single malt offering.

Created to celebrate the name, 220-year legacy and ” relentless Viking spirit” of Highland Park founder Magnus Eunson, MAGNUS is a “bold” single malt whisky that has been matured in American oak first-fill sherry-seasoned and bourbon casks.  This treatment produces a 40% ABV Scotch Whisky that offers “notes of sweet vanilla, overlaid with [Highland Park’s] distinctive aromatic smokiness.”

Available exclusively in North America, MAGNUS is beginning to hit shelves now for the suggested retail price of $39.99 per 750ml bottle (price may vary by location).  You can expect to find this offering available at fine retailers, bars and restaurants in the US that normally carry Highland Park offerings.  Prost!

Vital Information for MAGNUS from Highland Park Distillery

Release – September 2017
Style – Single Malt Scotch Whisky 
ABV – 40% (80 Proof)
Treatment – Matured in American oak sherry-seasoned and bourbon casks
Flavors – “Lemon | Vanilla sponge cake | Caramelised pineapple | Aromatic peat smoke | Sweet violets”
Availability – 750ml bottles 
Distribution – North America only
Order Online – https://www.reservebar.com/highland-park-magnus