Far away in the storm-lashed Orkney islands is the place where magic happens. Here, Highland Park single malt Scotch whisky is made, in very much the same way as it was made over 220 years ago. We see our distillery as a living, breathing organic place and we are its custodians. Evolution takes time and we’ve plenty of that.
Our distillery is perched atop high ground on the southern edge of Kirkwall, and stands watch over the town. As well as a collection of ancient stone buildings, we have 23 warehouses, and 2 pagoda-topped kilns. Incidentally, although our warehouses are numbered from 1 to 25, there are actually only 23 of them – one of history’s little mysteries. For over 220 years, our distillery has sat stoically through long winters, raging storms and 100mph winds. It all makes for more harmonious whisky.
Our two kilns are used to dry out the hand-turned malted barley over slow-burning hand-cut local peat from Hobbister Moor. When you make whisky, your sense of scale and time warp – in our world, our youngest kiln is still ‘new’ at just over 100 years old, and we have no intention of replacing either of them any time soon. If you want to make award-winning whisky, you have to appreciate that sometimes tradition defies convention.
Our stillhouse has four stills, two wash stills and two spirit stills, and a robust copper and brass spirit safe. The stills were made by Forsyth’s, a renowned still-maker in Speyside. Interestingly, unlike most stills, ours have windows so that we can see the boiling liquid inside. This just demonstrates the lengths that we will go to to create perfection: we even keep an eye on the spirit as it boils.
WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO MAKE YOUR WAY TO THE ISLANDS OF ORKNEY.