GSN Presents: The 2017 Advent Gift Guide – Day 22

With only three days to go until Christmas Eve, there’s not enough time to order gifts.  So, until then, we’re going to suggest some items that we’ve rated highly this year that you can find in your local liquor store (hopefully).  For Day 22, we’re focusing on the 20 spirited products that received a GSN Rating of A- (90) during 2017.

  1. Allaire Vodka
  2. Auchentoshan – The Bartender’s Malt
  3. Bache Gabrielsen Tre Kors Cognac
  4. Basil Hayden’s Dark Rye
  5. CALI California Sipping Whiskey
  6. Cannon Beach Distillery Dorymen’s Rum
  7. Cruzan Aged Dark Rum
  8. D. George Benham’s Gin Sonoma Dry Gin
  9. Don Ciccio & Figli Amaro Tonico Ferro-Kina
  10. Don Ciccio & Figli Finocchietto Fennel Liqueur
  11. Don Q 2007 Signature Release Single Barrel
  12. Highland Park Magnus Single Malt Scotch Whisky
  13. Koskenkorva Vodka
  14. Montelobos Mezcal
  15. Oamaruvian 16 Year Old Cask Strength DoubleCask
  16. Paul John Bold Whisky
  17. Savannah Spirits Amber Rum
  18. TINCUP 10 American Whiskey
  19. Van Gogh Vodka
  20. Virginia Distillery Co. Cider Barrel Matured Virginia Highland Malt

GSN Review: Highland Park Magnus Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Highland Park, The Orkney Single Malt with Viking Soul recently announced the newest addition to its core range: MAGNUS. Exclusive to the US and Canada, this expression celebrates the distillery’s founder Magnus Eunson, a butcher and church officer by day, and bootlegger by night. Magnus was a direct descendant of the Vikings who settled on Orkney hundreds of years ago. His legacy of attention to detail and passion for whisky making remains today and little has changed in the way Highland Park is crafted in over 220 years. Jason Craig, Highland Park Brand Director, said: “Magnus Eunson set up his illicit still at a small cottage at High Park, overlooking Kirkwall and it remains the site of our home today. We say that our distillery was founded in 1798 –but in truth, that’s just the year that the authorities finally caught up with Magnus – he was certainly making whisky before that!”

The label in striking gun-metal foil on the bottle represents M for MAGNUS. It has been created in the decorative Viking art style called Urnes, which complements the recently redesigned 12 and 18 Year Old packaging, just released in North America. The design harks back to Viking storytelling and features the legend of a lion locked in battle with the forces of evil in the form of serpent-like dragons. The top of the bottle also features the heads of two serpent-like dragons as well as the brands signature The Orkney Single Malt with Viking Soul.

Gordon Motion, Master Whisky Maker, commented: “I wanted to create a whisky which had the lightly-peated characteristics familiar to the Highland Park family but with a sweeter and more profound vanilla flavor profile. The result is a whisky crafted using a high proportion of Sherry seasoned American oak casks along with refill casks which give MAGNUS its citrus, vanilla and lightly smoky taste.”

Highland Park Magnus (80 proof)
Visual: Pale gold.
Nose: Fine high sherry notes married with crisp, slightly smoked malt. Dessert in a glass.
Taste: Again, the sherry supports and works in tandem with the malt creating a lovely slightly sweet and ethereal whisky. There’s a delicacy which is befitting a tribute to a forefather of the distiller’s art.
Finish: Long with the sherry trailing off and leaving a soft woody char on the back palate that acts as a palate cleanser.
Overall: We at GSN are really loving these new Highland Park whiskies. For the price point, we recommend picking up a few for the upcoming holiday season as gifts, and one for you to proudly display on your backbar.
GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: Highland Park Whisky