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Fri 27 Mar 2009
Highland Park's Tokyo connection
They say in life you don't often get a second chance at things, but it seems someone forgot to tell the folk at Highland Park that.
A treasure trove of rare Highland Park single malt discovered in Japanese warehouses has been re-released onto the UK market.
The limited edition Bicentenary 1977 Vintage was originally launched in 1998 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Orkney distillery. International demand was on an unprecedented scale and the bottling sold out almost immediately, fast becoming a collectors' item.
Jason Craig, global controller, Highland Park said: "We were astounded to discover this rare stock in our previous distributor's warehouses in Japan. This is a very special expression of Highland Park and one which we thought had sold out and been consumed long ago. The Japanese have long been recognised as discerning consumers and collectors of single malt whisky and, as a result, a significant proportion made the journey to Tokyo and beyond. We decided to repatriate the remaining Bicentenary 1977 Vintage bottles to celebrate its extended Japanese sabbatical and offer whisky lovers a rare opportunity to enjoy this incredible single malt again."
The 21 Years Old single malt (40% abv) was awarded 9 Â½ out of 10 in issue 5 of Whisky Magazine by the late Michael Jackson, considered by many as the greatest whisky writer of them all, who said the single malt had "astonishing complexity and length". It also remains the favourite expression of Highland Park for both Distillery Manager, Russell Anderson, and Head of Brand Education, Gerry Tosh.
Just 694 bottles of the Bicentenary 1977 Vintage will be released onto the market at £250 and strong demand is expected from collectors, particularly as the first release of this edition sold for £69.99 and can now fetch £300 and upwards at specialist whisky auctions.