Founded way back in 1798 by David Robertson, Highland Park sits on a site previously used by Magnus Eunson to distill illicit whisky.. The distillery is well known for the use of its Nordic history and the continuous use of Norse mythology to name its whisky.
Starting way back in the early parts of the 9th Century when the vikings first invaded the island of Orkney, there started a long history of Viking Earls ruling the island. Magnus Erlendsson was to become one of the more celebrated rulers until his death which was surrounded by betrayal and jealousy from his cousin Haakon, the story goes on to tell of miraculous healings from the areas of his burial and murder and so was born the legend of Magnus who later became Saint Magnus.
Today the distillery still honours its heritage with the releases of whisky named from Norse mythology such as Svein, Einar, Harald, Sigurd, Loki, Thor, Freya and Odin.
Todays review is for the Highland Park Dragon for which the Viking honour still connects.. The vikings both feared and revered the dragons as they were said to posses mystical powers and represented the forces of evil.. Stories told of the Viking warrior Sigurd who slew the evil Fafnir, then received powerful gifts of Wisdom and Prophecy after licking the slates dragons blood from his thumb !! This whisky therefore pays tribute to the Viking code of honour and the virtues of Courage and Perseverance..
Dragon Legend is matured in Sherry seasons oak and is said to contain a fair proportion of more heavily peated whisky.. Peat as always has come from the Hobbister moor, bottled at 43.1% abv this is all naturally coloured.
Nose.. The peat is a little more pronounced and in turn brings an aromatic aromas with dried fruits, spices and citrus notes.. A touch of chocolate is accompanied by coffee grinds and tobacco notes along with an earthy damp wood note.
Palate.. Smokey and spicy lead the way with an abundance of sweetness.. The sherry influence is very noticeable but still carries some vanilla and toffee notes.
Finish.. Smoke and spice.
Thoughts.. This is certainly similar to the 12 yo in that it holds plenty of fruits and has flavour bursting out in every sip but for me that little extra smoke just takes it to the next level..
Highland Park -Dragon..
This highlights the smokier side of the Distillery and gives a sweeter experience than the 12, and with the extra abv this feels a little more full bodied although I am not sure I’d pick it over the 12 but I would be happy to drink it again and again..