Highland Park unveils 50-year-old whisky

Edrington-owned Scotch brand Highland Park has released its third 50-year-old whisky, priced at £20,000 (US$27,434).

Limited to 274 bottles, the new Highland Park 50 Year Old (43.8% ABV) is made from nine refill casks laid down in 1968. The casks were combined in 2008 and re-racked into first-fill Sherry-seasoned casks. The bottlings were created using the traditional solera system, which takes a small quantity of whisky produced from a previous batch and marries it together with the new liquid. After 12 years of maturation, one cask was chosen and a small quantity of the last 50-year-old from the distillery was added. Gordon Motion, Highland Park’s master whisky maker, said: “This 50-year-old whisky is one of our oldest and rarest releases and I’m very proud to have been a part of its journey. “The whisky is spectacular, when I sampled the whisky from the re-racked casks, the whisky it contained – aged for a little over 50 years – had absorbed the rich Sherried flavours of dried fruit and sweet toffee from its final first-fill cask maturation, but still retained all the delicate fragrance and flavours driven by the original refill casks. “I introduced a small quantity of this cask to some of our 2018 batch of 50 Year Old, which I’d held back specifically for this purpose, to create a further layer of depth and complexity. “As the 2018 50 Year Old also contains some of our 2010 batch of 50 Year Old – our first in the series – this approach allows me to maintain the core DNA of our oldest Highland Park whisky through each extremely limited batch release.” The ‘intensely rich, sweet and fragrant’ 50-year-old whisky has notes of black cherries, muscovado sugar, peaches socked in alcohol, dark chocolate, exotic spices, candied orange peel, roasted oak, ripe apricots, espresso coffee, and light peat smoke. The single malt is presented in a handmade wooden box made from walnut and comes with a book that tells the story behind the whisky. The expression is contained in an embossed heavyweight glass bottle featuring a Norse-inspired design. The 2020 release of Highland Park 50 Year Old is available from specialist retailers globally, with a limited number of bottles available from the distillery and online shop from March 2021. The bottle is available in both 700ml and 750ml formats depending on the market.