Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Highland Park Scotch

Highland Park Scotch

If you are looking for a really good scotch that can become your own personal scotch, the one you reach for to celebrate, commiserate, or just plain enjoy, Highland Park is an excellent choice. Distilled in Kirkwall in Orkney which is an island off the Northern coast of mainland Scotland this award winning scotch is a keeper. Orkney is a wonderfully historical place with its Neolithic village remains of Skara Brae, standing stones, and other Neolithic treasures. HP is available in 12, 15, 18,21,25,30, and 40 year old varieties and they use bourbon and sherry casks for the aging process. They are one of the few distilleries that actually does their own maltings although I did read that they do mix their malt with other malt bought from the mainland which I believe is done to cut the smokiness component owing to the fact that they do their malting over locally dug peat. Highland Park is not a super smoky scotch it is much more in the sherry cask family. I have only enjoyed the 12 year old but look forward to getting to try one of their older varieties in the near future.
The Highland Park distillery runs a scotch boot camp that I saw them talk about on Single Malt TV and it is reported to be a vigorous intensive experience described as enjoyable of course but a lot of work and effort as well. I would love to do that, just imagine the knowledge and experience one would gain, it must be incredible!
You-Tube is chock full of Highland Park videos where they taste each vintage and provide a ton of great material. I highly recommend that you take some time when you can and watch these videos. They also explain in the absolute best way I have ever seen how to nose and taste whisky and they aren’t shy about cutting out all the crap and doing it 100% correctly. They give you hints and instruction on tasting that can serve you throughout your whisky enjoying lifetime. Please do take a look, just go to You-tube and do a search on Highland Park and that should hook you up. I cannot imagine a more enjoyable or rewarding life than making whisky at a world class distillery like Highland Park. I think I would leap from my bed each morning and speed to work every day with a huge grin on my face! Just think how wonderful it would be to really love what you do for a living every day and looking forward to going to work instead of dreading it like so many folks do. If they would hire me at the most minimal of living wages and I could get the papers to work in Scotland, well….that would just be wonderful.
Highland Park does not bottle on site but ships in bulk to mainland bottling facilities like most of the other distillers do. Macallan and Highland Park are two fine whiskies that go into The Famous Grouse blend (which probably explains why a British citizen once told me that The Famous Grouse is the nominal choice for a really good blend in Scotland and the rest of the UK !) HP also supplies top quality whisky to other blends but I do not have a complete list of them to share with you otherwise I would have done so.
I must admit when watching the tasting video for the Highland Park 40…..I have never been so envious of another person as I watched and listened to their expert tell me as he tasted (chew, chew, chew, chew ) {that will make sense to you after watching the videos}, how wonderful the 40 year old whisky was. He stated that color is not a good indicator of anything and gave complete details on how one should taste whisky pointing out that it is a quite different process than tasting wine. Please watch the videos, your education level will soar and your enjoyment of whisky will be enhanced as mine was. They do make most if not all of their whiskies in a miniature version and feature a variety pack of mini’s although here in “Dogpatch” where I live I deeply regret that my local liquor stores do not stock such wonderful things. ARRRRGH! I shall find them eventually, probably in the Orlando area.
In summary, Highland Park is an outstanding award winning whisky that is distilled by fantastic people in one of the most wonderful places on Earth. You should drink it because it tastes good. Try it and see if it doesn’t become your go to whisky. If you are a whisky lover (and yeah I know, not everybody is), I think you are really going to love this one.
The Whisky Warrior.


  1. Hello Warrior.. I haven't given up on Whisky yet... I really enjoy the aroma of it (sort of like loving the smell of gasoline yet no way I want to drink it!)... So there is got to be some way for me to get to love this beverage...

    When I was a kid I remember my parents (my mother in particular) enjoying whisky sours... Problem with sour mix is it is not low carb... (Low to No carb is key for me) but I found a sour mix recipe (I have yet to try but will let you know when I do):


    * 1 cup water
    * 1/4 cup lemon juice
    * 2 T lime juice
    * 1/4 cup equivalent artificial sweetener (liquid preferred) (I will use Splenda)

    Combine it all together. Store covered in the refrigerator.

    Carbohydrate Information: This whole recipe, almost 1 and 1/2 cups of mixer, has 6 grams of carbohydrate. Each tablespoon of lemon or lime juice has 1 gram of carb if bottled, and slightly more if fresh.

    While not 0 carbs it is a lot better than the typical sour mix...

    Again my goal is to get myself to enjoy whisky all on its own but for now... goodness me that simply isn't happening... :)

    I think this weekend will be a nice time to try this mix out :)

  2. Good luck with the sours, my Dad used to drink Manhattans:
    2 oz rye whiskey (He used Early Times Bourbon)
    1/2 oz sweet vermouth
    2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
    maraschino cherry for garnish
    Pour the ingredients into a mixing glass with ice cubes.
    Stir well.
    Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
    Garnish with the cherry.

    Also rusty nails and a few others are out there so there are many variations to try.