From Urnes To Orkney

From Urnes to Orkney

From Urnes To Orkney


Andy Bowman is the Creative Director of Glasgow-based Mountain Creative Design Consultants. He has worked with Highland Park for nearly 30 years and his award-winning designs help to bring our Viking heritage to life with a contemporary twist.


Andy has long been inspired by the Urnes design style. Perhaps the most elegant and sophisticated example of ancient Norwegian wood carvings, it takes its name from the 11th century Stavkirke (wooden church) in the tiny Norwegian village of Urnes. As the Vikings who settled on Orkney would originally have hailed from Norway, it’s a fitting source for the ‘H’ amulet, designed by Andy in 2005, which adorns every bottle of Highland Park.


Tasked, in 2016, with redesigning the Highland Park bottle itself, Andy turned once again to Urnes for inspiration. This time, he focused on the remarkable carved wooden panels in the Stavkirke that depict a beast – thought to be a lion – entangled in a deadly battle with fearsome serpent-like creatures who represent the forces of evil.


Andy skillfully translated the essence of the Urnes carving into a design that would wrap itself all the way around the Highland Park glass bottle; he also drew on the ‘hand feel’ of an old bottle he came across quite by chance when hill-walking in Scotland, which featured beautifully embossed typography. The result is an intricate yet powerful design on glass, creating a bottle that is a tactile work of art, as full of character and elegance as the whisky it contains – in this case, our prestigious Highland Park 50 Year Old.


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The Orkney Single Malt
with Viking Soul