Highland Park 50 Year Old

  • Richard Carleton Hacker

This is the oldest and most expensive single malt ever produced by Scotland’s northernmost distillery. After a vatting of five Oloroso sherry barrel–aged single malts distilled in 1960, just enough whisky remained after five decades of aging and evaporation to fill 275 bottles. The majority of these were reserved for the United States on an annual allocation basis; however, the first seven bottles allotted for 2011 have already been purchased. Another five bottles, which were initially set aside for 2012, have thus been released. Each bottle is wrapped in an intricate sterling silver "net cage" fashioned by Scottish jewelry designer Maeve Gillies, who took inspiration from the seaweed and other elemental forces that personify the rugged, windswept Orkney Islands. Bottled at 89.6 proof, this whisky is a complex bouquet of licorice, lemon, and Highland Park’s signature hint of nutmeg, with a wisp of smoke in the lengthy finish. ($17,500)

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