Origin: Orkney Islands (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Sherry first fill and refill
Added coloring: No
Owner: The Edrington Group
Average price: € 90.00
Official website: www.highlandparkwhisky.com
Legend has it that in the distant past, when whisky production was illegal, in Kirkwall, Orkney, a man, a shepherd by day and a furious bootlegger by night, defied the tax collectors by offering the locals the best elixir in the world. This man’s name was Magnus ‘Mansie’ Eunson and he’s regarded as the true founder of Highland Park.
The Dark Origins is dedicated to him, a NAS, i.e. a whisky with no official ageing declaration, matured 80% in first-fill ex-Sherry casks (60% European oak and 20% American oak) and the remaining 20% in ex-Sherry refill casks. Proposed at 46.8% ABV, it hasn’t undergone any chillfiltration.
The natural colour is a splendid bronze.
On the nose, the very first impression is of milk chocolate, followed shortly by a hint of sponge cake, a fragrance reminiscent of ripe pear and a robust sprinkling of white pepper. A wisp of smoke links hints of resin and caramelised almonds, with a light liquorice aroma. The almost balsamic background initially communicates a sensation of freshness, which is however belied by the subsequent warmth. Fudge and white grapes are also noticeable on the length, with a whiff of ash.
On the palate the whisky is enveloping, spicy (white pepper), with full notes of ripe apricot, above all, and resin, and a veil of smoke. For a few moments we seem to perceive a fleeting memory of wood.
The medium-length finish is still pleasantly spicy, with a touch of apricot and a hint of smoke.
On the palate, the extensive use of tannin-rich European oak casks results in an accentuation of the spicy side and, in the overall profile, an aromatic dynamism that fits well with the image of the rebellious and combative Magnus Eunson. But Dark Origins is also a successful whisky because it never abdicates the elegance and balance that are the hallmarks of Highland Park.
The Whiskey Jug