Highland Park Einar is named for a Viking warrior and served up in a hefty 1 liter bottle of classic Highland Park wonderfulness.
Situated on the island of Orkney to the west of Kirkwall, Highland Park is the most northerly distillery in Scotland. Legend has it that it was founded by Magnus Eunson in the late 18th century—one of many Orcadian smugglers and illicit Whisky producers who rebelled against the heavy excise duties imposed to finance the war with Napoleon. It is said that he used his position as church officer to conceal Whisky beneath the church pulpit.
Many people think that “Highland Park” means that this is a Highland Whisky. But it’s not. Highland Park gets its name for a city district on the island of Orkney. In style, it is closer to a midpoint between a Lowland and Islay Whisky. It is one of the few distilleries to use hard water and traditional floor maltings on site, which are then dried over a fire of peat from Hobbister Moor mixed with local heather—the national flower of Scotland. This is the source of the floral-smokiness that is characteristic of Highland Park Whiskies. Perhaps the most famous Whisky connoisseur of all time—journalist Michael Jackson—called Highland Park, “The greatest all-rounder in the world of malt whisky.”
If you have been drinking Whisky for a while—since before the current craze—you know that the industry has always catered to the duty-free shops of the world by creating special full liter bottlings of unique taste expressions so that travelers could get something interesting and also be able to maximize the amount of whiskey they could take home from their travels. So whenever you see that one-liter-sized bottle, you know your getting something that you can’t get at home most of the time.
Highland Park Einar is the classic Highland Park single-malt spot-on core product with a little European oak Sherry cask aging tossed in to the normal mix of wood. That makes it just a tad darker in color and perceptibly sweeter than the core, but with every ounce of character and a full flowering of their signature style. Like if that rough and tumble Einar had a fling with a Spanish peasant girl… let’s go with that.
Trof-Einaar conquered—or rather “re-conquered”—the Orkney and Shetland Islands of present-day Scotland at about 900 AD. He was a huge, one-eyed hulk of a man who preferred to wield an battle-axe and established a dynasty of control there that lasted for nearly 500 years.