This week Highland Park announced the launch of a new expression inspired by the cunning spirit and courageous personality of its founder, Magnus Eunson.
Establishing a secret bunker in the hills of High Park in Orkney, Magnus 'Mansie' Eunson became a famed dark distiller back in the late 1700s, creating whisky for the people of Orkney to offer relief from the villainy of the tax collector. By day he worked in his church providing spiritual guidance, but in the dead of night he hand crafted whisky.
Dark Origins, a premium, non-chill filtered single malt with an ABV of 46.8%, will start to appear on shelves internationally in the coming months.
It uses twice as many first fill sherry casks than in the classic Highland Park 12 year old resulting in a naturally darker, richer flavour with sherried spice, a chocolate twist and the signature sweet smoke fans of the Orcadian elixir have come to know and love.
Highland Park is one of the few distilleries not using distiller's caramel and so Dark Origins takes its natural colour from the interaction between spirit and cask.
Gerry Tosh, Global Marketing Manager, said: "Cask management is so very crucial to our work at Highland Park. We have strived to raise the bar, working tirelessly in sourcing the right wood and then working and finessing the balances to ensure we create single malt that is rich, warm and enticing in flavour. Dark Origins sits in the heart of our core range complimenting them perfectly – distinct in itself, but always and forever a classic Highland Park."
The tasting notes:
Colour: Rich mahogany
Nose: Sherried spice and ripe bananas combine with toasted hazelnuts and baked apple
Palate: Well-balanced, dry peat at first mellowing out to maraschino cherries, warm dark chocolate entices the palate
Finish: Enduring sweet smoke