Highland Park Dark Origins Single Malt Scotch Whisky
[thst_alert style="red"] This is a transcript of the review in Episode 17. You can listen to it here. [/thst_alert]
Dark Origins is the newest offering from the Highland Park Distillery. As a highland whiskey it's billed as bold and robust, but this dram comes with a little something extra: a story. Magnus Eunson was a man living two lives; by day he was a flesher (that's a butcher) and kind of a wannabe preacher; a beadle really (that's a minister's assistant), but by night he was a shadow-fleeced smuggler of booze; mostly whisky. But he wasn't just these things, Magnus Eunson is the founder of the Highland Park Distillery.
One story tells of a time during the 1800's when excise men had planned to raid the church where Magnus both worked and hid illicit barrels of whisky. Magnus got wind of the raid just far enough ahead of time to move the few barrels kept at the church to his home just down the road a piece. When the raiders turned up nothing at the church, they began searching the surrounding homes; but this is something Magnus had planned for.
He quickly gathered a small group of people to his living room, layed all the barrels on their side, set a coffin lid across them lengthwise, and covered the whole mess with a perfectly clean white sheet. He then preceded to have a friend lay stiff upon the lid, propped his head up with a pillow, and had everyone gather around in a circle; with Magnus at the head holding his bible.
When the excise men entered the house in the middle of this prop funeral, Magnus angrily motioned for them to leave and mouthed the word "smallpox". The officers immediately vacated and the town's whisky was safe for a little while longer.
Dark Origins is stored in Double First Fill sherry casks for a naturally darker and richer flavor. It pours beautifully and does it's best, in appearance for sure, to harken back to the illicit, darker beginnings of the Highland Park Distillery.
Nose: Milk and Chocolate are competing for dominance. Subtle notes of vanilla. Meaty. A bit of smoke
Palate: Chocolate, nutty, practically no peatyness, only slighly spicy, and moderately sweet
Finish: A bit of salivation on the finish, definitely dry, and just a touch of chocolate at the end
Highland Park's Dark Origins costs between $80 and $90 depending on where you get it. I was extremely fortunate to make contact with a charming woman at Highland Park's marketing agency who gifted me this bottle in trade for a fair review on the show, so many thanks to Highland Park and Alyssa Bonventure at M Booth Marketing in New York. If I hadn't gotten this from Highland Park I would have purchased it at Crown Wine and Spirits in Boynton Beach, Florida. Located in the Sunshine Square plaza at the intersection of Federal and Woolbright, Crown Wine and Spirits has an incredibly friendly and knowledgeable staff and can help you find whatever you're looking for; and if they can't, they can order it. I highly recommend checking them out the next time you're out spirit shopping.
Other offerings from Highland Park include:
- The 12, 18, 21, 25, 30, and 40 year olds
- The Leif Eriksson
- And the Orcadian Series Vintage collection featuring a 1968, 70, 71, and 76; these are wildly expensive and incredibly good from what I've heard.
For other offerings ABVs range from 40% to 60%; the Dark Origins clocked in at 46.8%