Highland Park honours founder with Magnus whisky

by Annie Hayes

Edrington-owned Highland Park is celebrating the life and work of founder Magnus Eunson by launching a namesake whisky, exclusive to the US and Canada.

A direct descendant of the Vikings that settled on Orkney hundreds of years ago, Eunson was a butcher and church officer by day, and a bootlegger by night. 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 has been created in a decorative Viking art style called Urnes to complements the recently redesigned 12 and 18 Year Old packaging. Based on Viking storytelling, the design features the legend of a lion locked in battle with serpent-like dragons. Gordon Motion, master whisky maker, said: “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 flavour 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.” Bottled at 40% abv, Magnus is available from specialty spirits retailers and bars for the RRP of US$39.99 for a 750ml bottle.