GSN Review: Highland Park’s The DARK Whisky

Highland Park recently announced the global launch of their latest special edition, called THE DARK. This 17-year-old single-malt Scotch whisky has been exclusively matured in first-fill European oak sherry-seasoned casks and bottled at 52.9% ABV.

THE DARK is presented in jet-black bespoke glass; the serpent dragon embossed on the front takes its inspiration from Viking lore. THE DARK and THE LIGHT are inscribed in Viking runes on the bottle and oak cradle in a nod to the brand’s heritage. The rear of the glass bottle is embossed with “Made with Pride on Orkney” — a heartfelt tribute to the men and women of the distillery who create Highland Park single malt.

Orkney’s climate is mild, reaching highs of only 60 degrees Fahrenheit in summer and lows of around 35 degrees Fahrenheit in winter. The wild winds that assault the islands generate a landscape in which few trees survive. This creates the aromatic peat used in malting.

THE DARK’s oak cradle has two circles etched on the top and bottom to represent both the high sun of the summer solstice and the low sun of the winter solstice, key dates on the Viking calendar. They, in turn, embody the contrasting seasons and their influence on Highland Park whisky.

Jason R. Craig, brand director of Highland Park, commented, “THE DARK is the first of two special editions. It will be followed by THE LIGHT in spring 2018. Both editions share the story of the contrasting seasons of our Orkney islands home and the resulting perfect balance of Highland Park whisky.”

Highland Park’s The DARK Whisky (105.8 proof)
Visual: Medium gold.
Nose: Thick and rich evocation of smokey malt floor. Saddle leather, currant, and hearth all find a welcome home in this dram.
Taste: Intense mouth-bomb of slightly sweet malt, patinaed with a single broad stroke of smoke.
Finish: Long and with some gentle caramel tones softening the high ABV.
Overall: You can almost taste the combination of rustic island living and the celebratory sense of the passing of winter. A real star in the Highland Park special edition series.
GSN Rating: A+

For more information go to: Highland Park Whisky

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