Highland Park remains the most northerly whisky distillery in Scotland, although not by much, as it is little more than a stone’s throw from fellow Orcadian, Scapa. Accounts of the distillery’s genesis vary, and the truth is probably lost to the mists of time, but it is thought that a local farmer named David Robertson founded what we now know as Highland Park distillery in 1798, on the site of an illicit still operated by nefarious smuggler (and former priest) Magnus Eunson. Since its introduction as a single malt in the late 1970s, the distillery has been awarded many plaudits, not least of which came from the late, great whisky writer Michael Jackson, who called it “the greatest all rounder in the world of whisky”. It’s characteristic style coming from the use of Sherry casks, along with an often cited heathery sweetness imparted to the spirit by way of the distinct Orcadian peat used during the malting process.
Named Best Spirit in the World in the Spirit Journal, on two separate occasions, the Viking Pride owes its qualities to the production team at the distillery. Slow-burning, aromatic peat from Hobbister Moor, hand turned floor maltings, Sherry seasoned European oak casks, cool maturation and a long and unhurried harmonisation process for this 18 year old expression.