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Issue 73 - Growing old gracefully

Whisky Magazine Issue 73
July 2008


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Growing old gracefully

Rob Allanson gets an exclusive peek behind the scenes to see how you launch a mature whisky.

There are some occasions where being a journalist can be so frustrating. You have a story to tell but have been told it's ‘off the record for now', and this story is definitely one of those moments.

However finally now the news has been released I can tell you the tale of how Highland Park launched its 40 Years Old.

Wowing the tasters in the last edition of Whisky Magazine, this 40 Years Old scored 18.5 putting it in the top 10 highest scoring whiskies tasted by the magazine.

There have been a lot of mature whiskies released on to the market recently, but it was the Edrington Group, owners of Highland Park, that opened its doors to Whisky Magazine to reveal the process of selection, design and eventual bottling.

The range available from the Orkney distiller has only varied mildly during the past few years.

It has rooted itself in tradition and consistency winning over an army of devotees with its warm sherry and honey tones balanced with a gentle whiff of smoke.

Not bad when you consider up to 1997 only the 12 Years Old was available.

As the word spread the distiller then introduced an 18 Years Old and a 25 Years Old.

To appeal to fans of older whisky, and to showcase that fact that Highland Park matured well, a one off 1958 vintage was released to celebrate the distillery's bicentennial year, as well as a 21 Years Old.

In 2005 to complete the line up at that point the 30 Years Old was released, made using only refill hogsheads.

The fact that the Orcadian distille...

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