Celebrated Scottish distillery Highland Park launches a rare 54-Year-Old whisky to celebrate its 225th anniversary.
When it comes to whisky, there’s Scotch and then there’s Scotch. With only 225 bottles globally, one for every year of Orkney-based distillery Highland Park‘s history, the new 54-year-old release is certainly the latter. A coveted addition to any whisky collection, the theme of the launch is centred around “Unexpected Contrasts,” a reflection of Highland Park’s passion for pushing boundaries and defying expectations.
Born and crafted in the heart of Orkney by master whisky maker Gordon Motion, the 54-Year-Old is the brand’s oldest-ever release to date. Originally distilled in 1968, a magical year for Highland Park, it is the result of combining four refill butts and six refill hogsheads in February 2008 (just think what the world was like back then) that were then transferred into first-fill European sherry butts, where it matured for an additional 14 years and acquired its distinctive deep hue and intensity.
The result is an aged whisky that yields a well-balanced and intricate taste profile that is inspired by the Orkney Islands’ diverse characteristics, making it a true reflection of its place of origin – think exotic lychee and camphor as well as vintage oak and delicate peat on the nose, followed by warm spices, crushed cumin, coriander seeds, summer rose and jasmine with a hint of kiwi fruit and pistachio on the palate.
Designed by award-winning craftsperson John Galvin (below), the 54-Year-Old’s decanter is a work of art that showcases the brand’s unparalleled expertise in both flavour and packaging. The presentation oak box embodies Orkney’s unique contours, elevation, and terrain, as well as the weathered layers and strata of the Yesnaby cliffs.
The fluidity of its central fissure and aperture opens to reveal a stunning bottle designed by Michael Rudak from Stoelzle Flaconnage which allows the deep, natural colour of the limited edition to radiate from within. The textured glass decanter draws inspiration from the ancient monoliths of the Ring of Brodgar and the texture of the Yesnaby cliffs.
For the launch, Highland Park has also partnered with Bonhams Auction to offer one of the 225 bottles of the 54-Year-Old for sale on 18 May 2023, at an estimated price of between HK$320,000 and $390,000 (US$40,000-$49,000). As part of its commitment to social responsibility, Highland Park has announced that all net proceeds will be donated to Save The Children Fund.
This exclusive release will be available for purchase through the auction, and the winning bidder will receive a unique experience in Orkney, the home of Highland Park, with flights included.
To commemorate the occasion, Highland Park’s senior global brand ambassador Martin Markvardsen has also teamed up with renowned chef Silas Li and esteemed restaurant Hong Kong Cuisine 1983. Martin, a former Danish boxing champ and Master of the Quaich, and Chef Li have crafted a Chinese tasting menu with an extraordinary twist: each course is fused and paired with Highland Park’s whisky, ranging from 18 to 40 years old, meticulously chosen to heighten the flavours and aromas of the various ingredients and whisky.
This highly-limited nine-course tasting menu will also be available tevery Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in May, with a mere 15 sets offered per week, so pre-booking is a must.
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