By Emma Briones
Highland Park recently decided to revamp their core range, complete with a new look as well as some new names. With this change, the Orkney distillery wanted to pay further homage to the Viking history of the island.
According to the brand, Magnus Eunson, who founded Highland Park in 1798, was a direct descendant of the early Viking pioneers who settled in Orkney. The Vikings left their mark on the landscape, the culture and the people. They also shaped the character of Highland Park’s whisky.
With the new image, Highland Park 10 becomes Highland Park 10 Viking Scars, a tribute to one of the nine noble virtues of the Vikings. The new bottle has wonderful engravings and a new label, though the whisky that contains is the same old Highland Park 10 Year Old, the entry-level single malt from insofar as Europe should be concerned (in the U.S., that slot is filled by the no age statement (NAS) Magnus). It has been bottled with a natural color at 40% ABV.
Highland Park 10 Viking Scars is old gold in the glass and has long tears. On the nose, it starts with some fresh fruity notes and scents of light sea breeze. There are some heather notes with a touch of iodine, and the fruitier side brings some orchid fruits to the front. It is followed by some light notes of vanilla, hints of citrus and a really slight note of smoke.
On the palate, it is both mellow and spicy. With a slightly medium body, Highland Park 10 Viking Scars is fresh, with a soft hint of citrus. There are plums that melt with soft vanilla and honey notes. To the end, some grassy and malty notes with a hint of salt.
The finish is short and peppery. With some white pepper notes and hints of coffee.
Highland Park 10 Viking Scars has the Highland Park character, but in a softer way. It works well as an entry-level single malt, though it tastes like a much younger whisky than a 10 year old. There are some interesting notes but, still, is not as full as you would expect it to be. For a little bit more of money, you can buy its brother Highland Park 12, which is a much rounder whisky.
Highland Park 10 Viking Scars retailed in the UK at £30 and in the rest of Europe around €30.