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  • Location: Kirkwall, Orkney. Often classified as a Highlands distillery
  • Visitor Centre: Open year-round (times vary through the year)
  • Year founded: 1798
  • Owner: The Edrington Group
  • Production capacity: 2.5 million litres
  • Number of stills: Four
  • Typical phenol level (new-make): Less than 3ppm
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Its location on Orkney makes Highland Park one of the more remote distilleries, whilst a history going back to the seventeen hundreds makes it one of the oldest as well. A semi-lauter tun mashes around 6.5 tonnes of grist, working throughout the week alongside a dozen washbacks with an average fermentation time of 60 hours. The distillery maintains its own malting operation, providing approximately a quarter of the malted barley required for production. The kiln used to dry the malt is still fired partially with peat, resulting in phenol levels of up to 40ppm. When combined with the unpeated malt provided by Simpsons to make up production requirements, this results in a new-make spirit that still packs a fairly smoky aroma. The four stills, two wash and two spirit, each feature horizontal lyne arms connected to shell and tube condensers located outside the stillhouse.

Despite roughly two-thirds of the spirit being produced for blending, Highland Park maintains a broad range of single malts in its core range along with numerous releases for the duty free market, fittingly given names from Norse mythology. The peat taken from the island consists of local sphagnum moss common to such high latitudes, contributing a delicate and aromatic smokiness that is quite different to that associated with mainland or Islay whiskies. Fruity characteristics are imparted by the ex-sherry casks used in maturation, including a wide range of casks including both European and American oak.

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