THERE’S a new kid in town, and he’s already 15 years old.
A new expression of Highland Park whisky called Viking Heart presents itself in the middle of permanent iterations: Highland Park 10-year-old, Highland Park 12-year-old, and Highland Park 18-year-old — priced at P2,549, P2,999, and P1,1699, respectively, all on Boozy.ph. On Liquor.ph, the 15-year-old is priced at P7,199.
It’s easy to distinguish the Highland Park 15, if we were to base it on appearances alone. It’s encased in a heavily embossed ceramic bottle, made by UK-based Wade Ceramics (a 19th century porcelain manufacturer, known for their collectible porcelain animals). The new bottle, based on ancient earthenware vessels, has a glossy, creamy, and appealing appearance. It won’t affect the taste, we were assured: an e-mail to BusinessWorld from the company said, “The bottle does not influence flavor and storage. It is glazed, which makes it non-porous, similar to glass. It is completely sealed inside and outside.”
“We’ve often had requests from our consumers asking us to add a 15-year-old to our core range. We are delighted that our Master Whisky Maker Gordon Motion has been able to work with suitable stock to create this exciting new addition to our core range,” they said.
The Viking spirit is high in the Viking Heart, pointing to the company’s origins. Since owned by the Edrington Group, Highland Park began in the 1700s on a hill in the Orkney Islands, once owned by Denmark (hence the Viking influence), and ceded to Scotland as part of the dowry of a princess.
In a statement, Mr. Motion described the taste and mouthfeel of the new single malt. “Vanilla and citrus notes lead and combine with the unique fragrant peat and creamy mouthfeel synonymous with Highland Park. The hand selection of quality first-fill and refill casks for Highland Park 15-Year-Old delivers a rich color which is 100% natural. Bottled at 44% ABV, this retains more of the compounds which deliver a whisky with extra body and enhanced mouthfeel.”
The company gave a list of food pairings to go with the single malt: since it contains notes of toasted cinnamon, warm vanilla sponge cake, lemon zest and fresh pineapple, heather honey and aromatic peat smoke, “15-Year-Old Viking Heart is the perfect accompaniment to light fish dishes and seductively sweet desserts too.”
The Highland Park Viking Heart is available for purchase from whisky retailers, specialty liquor shops and online retailers in Metro Manila as well as Boozy.ph, Clink.ph, Liquor.ph, Thirst.ph and Singlemalt.ph. — Joseph L. Garcia