The Whisky Tasting Club

Highland Park St Magnus and 1970

Highland Park seems to be on a mission to prove that it has long been a malt capable of being all things to all people, and here are another Janus-like pair of releases.

Highland Park 1970

This latest release in the Orcadian range retails at £2250 (Blimey, don’t think it will make it into one of our tastings – Ed.) Specifically chosen by Max McFarlane, the whisky has been created from seven casks which were laid down with new make s pirit in 1970. All were refill casks comprising both butts and hogsheads, producing a total of just 1,800 bottles at natural cask strength of 48% abv.

A single malt which is citrusy and delicate, with soft grapefruit and orange marmalade notes, dusty fruit and gentle oak.
Fragile but with a delightful sweet conclusion.
Score: 8.1

Highland Park St Magnus

Who knew Vikings were big enough to pick up churches? -Ed.

Their Website says: Earl Magnus Editions “In 2009 we launched a new 3 part series celebrating the Viking heritage of Orkney. The Nordic influence is still in evidence today on the islands. The birth of Highland Park is associated with a character called Magnus Eunson who would have been named after Earl Magnus, whose cathedral stands sentinel in Kirkwall to this day.” Here about the first one on youtube here . No indication of how much it will cost, but the first edition was around £200 -Ed

Bottled at 55%, this is an intense mix of tarry smoke and sharp, prickly pepper, but with none of the trademark balance of oak, fruit and honey. It’s a tough, grown up whisky with some sweetness at its core.

Score. 7.0

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