Located off the coast of mainland Scotland, Highland Park is one of only a few distilleries that inhabits the northernmost Orkney Islands — and one of only two on the main island — with a history that dates back to 1798. The unique conditions on Orkney yield a unique type of peat, which the whisky maker has historically used exclusively for its immensely popular single malts.
This week, Highland Park — whose flagship 18 Year single malt is among the most desired by Scotch enthusiasts — has announced the release of its oldest expression yet: a 54-year-old single malt whisky. The beautifully evocative teardrop-shaped bottle is housed in a wooden cabinet that looks like an old tree.
Upon taking on the position of Master Whisky Maker in 2008, Gordon Motion selected ten whisky casks that had been filled four decades prior in 1968. These were originally refill casks (not first-fill), so the liquid was lighter and not as wood-heavy. He then transported these single malts to first-fill sherry-seasoned casks for an additional 14 years. Yielding only 225 bottles in total (the same number of years the distillery has been around), the new whisky balances its spice-filled profile with floral notes of rose and jasmine, but also with a hint of peat.
As you could expect, this 54-year-old Scotch won’t come cheap. It’s got a price tag of £39,000 (~$46,867) and can be purchased through Highland Park’s website.