It was a dark and moonless night. While most respectable men were asleep, Magnus Eunson, the beadle – church administrator – of Orkney was hard at work at the pulpit. No, he wasn’t seeking absolution of his sins – of which he knew he had many – but the works of distillation. Neither was he looking for the Holy Spirit’s intervention, but a spirit of a totally different kind.
Eunson was pulling apart the church pulpit so he could remove the whisky barrels he had hidden beneath. You see, this was at the end of the 18th century and whisky smuggling had became rife, with many distillers in Scotland being driven underground by ever-increasing taxes that started in the 17th century and made worse following The Act of Union with England 1707. Eunson, a whisky smuggler extraordinaire, had heard that the excisemen were coming to inspect the church, and on that dark night he intended to remove the evidence back to his own home.
This is the origin behind the brand story that is Highland Park of Orkney, and Eunson today is the man credited with the foundation of the distillery at the end of the 18th century. To celebrate his cunning and resourceful, the northernmost distillery in Scotland has just launched a new expression, Highland Park Dark Origins.
Dark Origins is a non-chill filtered single malt that comes in at an ABV of 46.8%. The distillery has revealed that the new non-age statement expression uses twice as many first-fill sherry casks compared to its classic Highland Park 12 Year Old, which results in a deeper amber hue and a hint of sherried spice, chocolate and sweet smoke notes.
It is now available in Singapore at a recommended retail price of SGD$178 per bottle, at selected premium bars and hotel lounges.
OFFICIAL TASTING NOTES: HIGHLAND PARK DARK ORIGINS
COLOUR Rich mahogany
NOSE Sherried spice and ripe bananas combined with toasted hazelnuts and baked apple
palate Well-balanced, dry peat at first mellowing out to maraschino cherries, warmdark chocolate entices the palate
finish Enduring sweet smoke