Highland Park distillery is based in Kirkwall, Orkney. Highland Park happens to be the most northerly whisky distillery in Scotland.
The distillery was founded in 1798, presumably by Magnus Eunson. The name of this whisky does not refer to the area of Scotland known as The Highlands, from which Orkney is excluded, but rather to the fact that the distillery was founded on an area called ‘High Park’ distinguished from a lower area nearby.
Highland Park is one of the few distilleries to malt its own barley, using locally cut peat from Hobbister Moor. The peat is then mixed with heather before being used as fuel. The malt is peated to a level of 20 parts per million phenol and then mixed with unpeated malt produced on the Scottish mainland.
In 1984, Highland Park was the only whisky ever to have scored a rating of 100% by the regular tasting team of The Scotsman, a national newspaper of Scotland. Whisky reviewer and expert Michael Jackson has called it “The greatest all-rounder in the world of malt whisky”.
Highland Park is available in various proprietary bottlings by year, as well as a special bottling known as Cappella, available only at the distillery. In addition, several independent bottlings of Highland Park are produced. Highland Park is also one of the ingredients of The Famous Grouse blend.