Highland Park DistilleryHighland Park Distillery

Founded in 1798
Highland Park is the most northern distillery in Scotland, located on the Orkney Island.

Orkney was the home to illicit distillation in late 1700s, so it is almost impossible to give an exact date for its founding. However, it is believed that Highland Park Distillery was built in 1798.

Robert Borwick got the first legal licence for the distillery in 1826. James Grant purchased the distillery in 1895 and increased the production. 

In 1937, the Highland Distillers Co. bought the distillery, and in 1979 they decided to release single malts instead of giving the malt away for blending. This was a turning point in the history of the distillery. In 1999, Edrington Group tookover the distillery and it continued to improve.

Cattie Maggie's Spring in Orkney is the main water source for the Whisky. The wash stills in the distillery have a capacity of 20,000 liters, while the spirit stills have a capacity of 18,000 liters. 

Highland Park is still partially using the floor malting procedure for their peated barley, which is peated by the peat collected from the Hobbister Moor.

The distillery has 26 warehouses, in a climate which is never too cold or too hot, creating a perfect medium for maturing the Whisky. Highland Park seasons the casks with dry Oloroso Sherry oak, making the Whisky more fruity and spicy.

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What does Highland Park Distillery taste like?

The Flavor Spiral™ shows the most common flavours that you'll taste in Highland Park Distillery Scotch. It's based on all Highland Park Distillery drinks in our large database and gives you a chance to taste Highland Park Distillery before actually tasting it.

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Distillery Details

  • Country
    United Kingdom, Scotland
  • Region
  • Established
  • Owner
    Brown Forman
  • Type
    Single malt
  • Number of stills
  • Visitor center
  • Status
  • Address
    Highland Park Distillery Holm Road Kirkwall Orkney KW15 1SU United Kingdom
  • Phone
    +44 1856 874619
  • Website
Dog Dogson
Dog Dogson's
Hobbister Moor is a landmark in Scotland famous for its peat. Because there are no trees on the land to blend in the peat, it has a slightly lighter aroma.

The 'Valhalla' range of Highland Park is named after the Norse mythological gods.
There are hundreds of islands scatered arond the perimeter of the Scottish mainland, but only a handful of them - ArranMullJuraSkye and Orkney - are home to a distillery. 

Island Whiskies are tempered by saline shores, brewing storms and the purply peated moors. But when it comes to flavours, shapeshifting is an island game. Though most Island Whiskies are salted by the sea and you can find plenty of challenging drams full of maritime notes here, some are sweet and herbal.

Thirsty for more? Explore distilleries from the Islands.
Video from Highland Park Distillery
Video transcription
The Orkney Islands cling to the edge of the northernmost coast of Scotland. To the east lies Norway and to the west, thousands of miles away, Newfoundland. The [inaudible 00:00:44], Druids, and Vikings all settled in Orkney over the last 5,000 years. Little has changed here. This is our home, the home of Highland Park, the best spirit in the world.

Three elements combine to make all single malt scotch Whisky: water, barley, and yeast. For over 200 years, we've distilled Highland Park in the traditional way. Our obsession with quality and consistency has made us the most respected single malt Whisky in the world.

We are one of only a handful of distilleries who have retained the traditional floor maltings. The skilled hands and strong backs of our maltmen guarantee our barley is as flawless today as it's been since 1798.

The ever present winds that lash the bleak moorland of Hobbister ensure that no trees survive here. However, the resilient Scottish heather manages to hold on.

Over thousands of years, a uniquely aromatic peat has formed on this treeless hillside. Cut by hand in the spring and left to dry naturally in the moorland winds, the heather peat holds the secret to the legendary sweet smoky character of Highland Park.

A further element is needed to unlock the heather-honey sweetness buried within our peat and to dry the malted barley wheat in high above in the pagoda roof. That element is fire.

In Andalusia, southern Spain, the fires of the ancient Tevasa Cooperage are harnessed to craft the finest quality casks from both European and American oak.

Having been lovingly seasoned for at least two years with the highest quality Oloroso Sherry, the empty casks make the arduous two and a half thousand miles sea journey north to Highland Park.

New made spirit from our Copa Port stills is filled into these casks to begin the magical process of even-paced maturation.

Our Whisky matures in Sherry oak casks, sleeping peacefully in the stone warehouses that encircle the distillery. The casks impart a naturally rich amber color to our Whisky during a gentle maturation period of at least 12 years.

Now is the hardest part, the waiting. Two centuries of traditional Whisky making, unchanged floor maltings, unique aromatic peat, finest Sherry seasoned casks, and evenly paced maturation.

Together they create Highland Park, the spirit of Orkney. The best spirit in the world.

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Scotch from Highland Park Distillery

Average rating: 8.4/10 (5406 votes)