Highland Park Whisky will always be synonymous with its founders name, Magnus Eunson. He was the creator of the distillery which began in the later end of the 18th century. Eunson was a beadle (a layperson who assisted in the operations of religious services) during the day, and an illegal alcohol distributor, or smuggler, by night. Highland Park Whisky received its name from the High Park above Kirkway where the distillery now stands. Although Eunson was never formally trained in the ways of distillery, he was said to be cunning, and sly, and made it through many tough times because of ingenious ability to outsmart the authorities.
Although Eunson smuggled spirits of all types, he is mainly credited with the distillation, and illegal distribution, of Scotch whisky from the Highland Park Distillery. The distillery was founded in 1798, Eunson, along with many of his “cronies” purchased the Highland Park estate which included the distillery in 1813. Eunson kept the distilleries alive through extreme and proficient trickery and by standing behind the symbolism of the church. Even when he was eventually caught for his antics, he found a way to skate through the scandal without ever begin sentenced.
Although Highland Park Whisky’s origins were kept alive through the antics and manipulation of Eunson, it soon became a respected operation and was purchased by many high respected and established distilleries. Highland Park Whisky is said to have a distinctive aromatic, full-bodied floral sweetness. It has an incomparable balance that comes from a tension between the aromatic Orkney peat and the sweetness of oak casks seasoned with Oloroso sherry. It has, throughout the ages, received and maintained many accolades worldwide.
The origins of Highland Park Whisky being located at the High Park was placed there specifically because of its outstanding and highly desirable water source. Although Eunson was not an official distiller, nor did he have any formal training, in the distillery field he loved his whisky and definitely knew what made it great.
Although a fairly new whisky to the market, Highland Park single malt scotch whisky , its first proprietary bottling was a 12-year-old in 1979. It has been characterized as smooth, balanced single malt, with a rich full flavor and gentle smoky finish. The following characteristics characterizes its make up:
- Glowing amber color
- Heather-honey sweetness, peaty smokiness nose
- Rounded smoky sweetness with a full malt delivery on the palate
- Teasing, subtle smoke and heathery delicious finish
Although Highland Park Whisky may not have the prestige that other distilleries are based on, because of the character of its founder, it has the uniqueness and over-the-top beginnings that are what great legends are born from. Living through and outsmarting many different obstacles, Eunson kept the whisky production alive. The great story that stands behind this characteristically honey sweet concoction truly is the making of legend.
It has enjoyed many accolades over the past couple of decades as the double gold at the 2005 San Francisco World Spirits Competition and the Gold Medal winner of the International Spirits Challenge in 2006 — A truly amazing whisky with a truly astounding origin.