Highland Park Dark Origins Single Malt Scotch Whisky
A dark, sexy matte black bottle that simply oozes character. The name 'Dark Origins' refers to the illicit distillery that was run by cunning and courageous founder, beadle and smuggler Magnus “Mansie” Eunson during the 18th century. The multi-award winning distillery, the most northerly in Scotland is actually in Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands, confusingly not (despite its name) the Highlands of Scotland at all. Geographically, the Highlands are lower down, in mainland Scotland around Speyside and the Cairngorms National Park.
Highland Park Dark Origins's flavors are intense. Not only does it use locally cut peat which imparts distinct flavors to the spirit, additionally, twice as many first-fill sherry casks are used during the aging process than are used in production of its sibling Highland Park 12, and therefore much of the casks content is passed along into the spirit making, naturally darker with a richer more powerful flavor.
Poured in the glass it is naturally a rich amber mahogany color with heady aromas of sherried spice, dried,fruits, ripe bananas, and baked apples overplayed with toasted hazelnuts. The warmth of the sherry comes through on the palate which is well-balanced. At first the dry earthiness of the peat comes forward but this mellows out to maraschino cherries and sherry flavors, dried fruits, some citrus, and sweet warm dark chocolate. The taste lingers with a finish that is sweet and chocolatey at first, then dry, and faintly smokey.
“Dark Origins impresses. A worthy tribute to a rebel. Dark Origins’ sweetness and spice help balance the smokiness in a way the existing Highland Park whiskeys do not.”
#1 Spirit of 2014.”
— The Spirit Journal
“96 Points (Finalist). Extraordinary; Ultimate Recommendation.”
— 2015 Ultimate Spirits Challenge