KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 10 — When picking a whisky, you can’t go wrong with Highland Park or what is known as “The Orkney Single Malt with Viking Soul”.
With its intense, balanced, smoky sweetness, the whisky drunk neat or on the rocks is the perfect way to wind down an evening.
The distillery traces its Viking origins back to 1798, through its founder Magnus Eunson, a descendant of the Norse seafarers.
It’s also one of the few distilleries that still turn their malt by hand – a laborious task that produces the right amount of moisture for the barley to absorb the peat smoke.
On Orkney, gale-force winds also help create denser, heather-rich island peat that burns slowly to create floral aromas to infuse the malted barley.
The spirit is also matured in handmade oak casks that are first filled with sherry for a duration of two years. In addition, the mild temperature (minimum two degrees Centigrade to a high of 16 degrees Centigrade) allows for a cool, long and even-paced maturation.
Once it is matured, they will combine different casks to create the whisky’s harmonious flavour.
At a recent Highland Park whisky dinner held at Nadodi, guests were treated to a multi-course dinner of fine Indian bites. On hand to explain the nuances of the tasting flight for the whisky was Highland Park’s regional brand ambassador, Keith Nair.
Guests also got to sample the much sought-after special edition, the Highland Park “The Dark”, which was made available in Malaysia. Sold in limited quantities (30 bottles only!), “The Dark” has a spicy and deep taste packed with dried fruits, nuts and spices.
Also tasted that night was their special edition from the Viking Legend series, Highland Park Valkyrie with its smokier notes and richer, ripened green apples and lemons. The Highland Park 12-Years Old and Highland Park 18-Years Old were also part of tasting.
Highlights from the dinner also included cocktails using Highland Park whisky, devised by the drink masters at Nadodi. The Hot and Cold cocktail – combines Highland Park 12-year old whisky with passion fruit – was a refreshing drink served with a foamy top.
Another drink had a mixture of Coke, cumin and lime, a combination popular in India, that was elevated with a little Highland Park whisky, black salt and caviar “pearls” made from whisky.
Highland Park Whisky can be found at Single Malt, D-0-3 & D-1-3, Block D, Plaza Damas, 60, Jalan Sri Hartamas 1, Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur. Tel:03-6203 2151
Highland Park 12-Years Old
A glowing amber whisky with heather honey notes and a subtle smokiness. It’s also known as the Viking Honour to represent the Vikings’ rich ancestry. The bottle also has a full embossed design, using markings from wood panels from the 12th century Urnes Stave Church in Norway. It depicts the Norse legend of a lion in battle with evil, in the form of a serpent-like dragon.
Highland Park 18-Years Old
With its clear, bright gold colour, this whisky has cherries, chocolate and heather honey notes. There is also a rich, full flavour of aromatic smoke. The whisky has the distinction of being named “Best Spirit in the World” by the Spirit Journal twice. Also known as Viking Pride, it represents the skilled craftmanship of the distillery that has been following exacting standards since 1798. The bottle also features the same Norse legend as the Highland Park 12-years old.
Highland Park Valkyrie
Despite its 8 years, the first of their Viking Legend series is a knockout with its creamy vanilla lemons, dark chocolate notes with warm smoke undertones. The smokiness is thanks to a higher amount of their heathery peated malt compared to the Highland Park 12-year old. Even the packaging is special as it has references to the Norse legends as interpreted by Danish designer Jim Lynvgild, a Viking descendant.
Highland Park “The Dark”
Available in very limited quantities, this 17-year-old whisky is the first of a two part series together with “The Light”. The deep russet coloured whisky is exclusively matured in sherry seasoned European oak casks. Drink it for its deep dried fruits, nuts and spices flavours with just a slight hint of peat smokiness. Collectors will be enthralled by its jet black bespoke bottle embossed with a serpent dragon, as inspired by Viking tales.