70cl // 46.8% ABV
Highland Park Dark Origins is a new core bottling that celebrates the early days of Magnus Eunson’s illicit distilling on Orkney, back before the distillery was even founded in 1798. Magnus worked as a butcher and church official by day, but by night he was a legendary whisky smuggler and distiller outwitting the exciseman.
To honour their hero (the Batman of the Orkney Islands, if you will), Highland Park have created a whisky with a suitably ‘dark’ character. Using 80% first-fill Sherry casks (20% refill) – 60% are first-fill European oak, with 20% being first-fill American oak – an exciting, spicy, chocolatey whisky has been produced.
Nose: Dusty baking spices and cocoa at first, cinnamon, vanilla, dates. Coffee cream Revels (possibly a couple of the orange ones too), a touch of blackcurrant/liquorice, plus butterscotch and an interplay between milk and dark chocolate.
Palate: Sweet, fragrant peat emerges with nutty melted milk chocolate and a little orange alongside some pastries.
Finish: Long and sweet, a little dry chocolate, just a hint of that heather smoke, then salivating.
Overall: Rounded first-fill Sherry notes come from both the European and American oak casks. This is a great, chocolatey addition of a (teenage) no age statement release.