Here is something for all of you exotic malt hunters to dream about. Highland Park is releasing two vintage single malts, a 45 year old and a cask strength 40 year old. They are expected to fetch 3,750 GBP and 2,250 GBP (sorry no special character on this editor) respectively, or about $6,250 and $3,750 at current exchange rates.
Highland Park was founded in the Orkney Islands in 1798 as an illicit distillery (bootleggers to us Americans) and remains the northernmost distillery in the world. The late 18th century was a tumultuous time for distillers everywhere as the governments of both Britain and America imposed and vigorously enforced taxes on spirits. These taxes led to the Whiskey Rebellion in America, which was the first true test of the new Federal government. In Scotland, underground distilleries were everywhere and one truly must wonder if the government ever collected more from the tax then it spent on its revenue collectors. For Magnus Euson, the Highland Park founder, Orkney must have seemed a bootlegger’s haven. The land was remote, rugged, and blessed with the needed resources, and the islands’ inhabitants were naturally rebellious (not surprising from a people that lived at the edge of the world) with a proven inclination towards smuggling. This common heritage of independence and resistance binds American and Scottish whisky in ways the few of us consider.
So if you do manage to get your hands on one of these vintage Highland Parks, enjoy it well and turn your thoughts back across the centuries to the rugged, independent men that stood against the Crown and Federal tax collectors to perfect the craft of whisky making in its infancy. We could use a little of their character today.
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About the Author: Tucson, AZ Realtor & Investor. My true passions however are hiking and whisky (although generally not at the same time). If you have a question about any of these just drop me a line!