Orkney distillery Highland Park has launched its oldest whisky in nearly a decade – a 50-year-old Sherry cask-matured expression priced at almost US$18,000.The single malt, distilled in 1964, is a bottling of two Sherry-seasoned Spanish hogshead casks. Only 274 bottles have been released. “[Bringing] two hogsheads of such extremely rare liquid off the island to be ‘married’ at our warehouse in Glasgow was not without its challenges,” said Max McFarlane, Highland Park’s longest-serving whisky maker. “Justifiably nervous of the whisky’s great rarity, we decided that the two casks simply couldn’t be allowed to travel together. So, rather like members of the royal family, each cask made its journey alone, one in September and one in October 2009. “Briefly parted after nearly 50 years spent side by side, the two hogsheads were reunited – the whisky ‘married’ for a further eight years." When the liquid was married together, McFarlane also introduced a small amount of the original 1960 vintage 50-year-old Highland Park, first released in 2010. “[This] means there’s a thread of continuity, a legacy within a legacy, in each of these 274 bottles,” he added. Highland Park 50 Year Old is presented in a decorative glass bottle designed by Andy Bowman. The bottle is contained inside an oak box created by John Galvin, and also features a crystal decanter and brown leather book. Bottled at 42.3% abv, the whisky will be available from specialist whisky retailers from the end of September. In July, Edrington-owned Highland Park released Vaknult – the second expression in its special edition range inspired by Viking history.