GSN Review: Highland Park Fire Edition Single Malt Scotch Whisky

image001Highland Park Fire Edition is limited edition single malt Scotch whisky that delves into the world of classic Norse mythology and celebrates the Viking roots of Highland Park’s Orkney islands home. According to Viking legends, Surtr was an evil Fire Giant who ruled the Fire Realm.  He would sit at the edge of the kingdom, defending the land by holding a burning sword, which shone brighter and hotter than the sun.  The culmination of these tales is an apocalyptic battle between the Gods and the Giants. Surtr led the sons of Muspell across the bridge of Bifröst, burning everything in sight at Asgard (realm of Gods; Thor, Loki, Freya and Odin) and destroying the world at Ragnarök, heralded as ‘The doom of the Gods.’ The world perished in a blazing and burnishing ball of flames and from the ashes, a new earth was recreated.

Matured exclusively in 100% refill Port wine casks, Fire Edition follows the release of Ice Edition which was awarded 99/100 and the Chairman’s Trophy in Paul Pacult’s Ultimate Spirits Challenge 2016. Fire Edition completes the two-part series inspired by the stories of the Ice and Fire Giants and their battles against the Gods to rule the world.

The bespoke crimson red colored glass was specially commissioned to represent the fierce and molten world of the Fire Giants from Viking mythology.  The bottle is encased in a distinctive black wooden cradle with accompanying black wooden stopper.  A booklet, also included with the bottle, recounts the story of the realm of the Fire Giants.

FIRE Edition, a special release of 28,000 bottles globally with 4,398 bottles in the US, is available from specialty spirits retailers in the US at a SRP of $300.

Highland Park Fire Edition (90.4 proof)
Visual: The bottle is tinted red, the whisky itself is a light gold.
Nose: As befitting a fire themed release, there is a fair bit of smokiness on the nose. Notes of cinnamon stick and fine airy toasted malt round out the overall effect.  Everything is surprisingly subdued.
Taste: Initially, quite fruity and delicate on the palate, within a few seconds a smoky, creosote bomb hits.  The port flavor barely manages to temper the bracing island character of this whisky.  With subsequent sips, the effect replays itself over and over.  From light and almost elegant to a darkening rumble of brimstone.  They definitely captured the fire aspect.
Finish: Medium long with a good amount of heat that stays on the back palate, but the smokiness wisps away evenly and surprisingly soon.  Which makes it all the more intriguing to reach for another sip.
Overall: Highland Park has indeed captured the idea of fire in the glass.  This is a single malt that does not disappoint.  Very well done and aside from the quality of the whisky, the bottling and cradle make for a great piece of art on your bar.
GSN Rating: A+

For more information go to: Highland Park

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