Renowned Scotch brand Highland Park has released an incredible 50-year-old single malt scotch whisky for only the third time in the distillery’s history.
Highland Park 50 Year Old is a rare whisky: only 274 bottles of the 2021 are being made available, clocking in with an impressive price of $30,000 retail.
The distillery created this 50-year-old batch from nine refill oak casks laid down in 1968, which were then married together in 2008 (at age 40) into new barrels, where they aged for an additional 12 years. Then came a little magic, via some special liquid that was added to the batch.
“I introduced a small quantity of this cask to some of our 2018 batch of 50 Year Old,” explains Highland Park Master Whisky Maker Gordon Motion, “which I’d held back specifically for this purpose, to create a further layer of depth and complexity.
As the 2018 50 Year Old also contains some of our 2010 batch of 50 Year Old – our first in the series – this approach allows me to maintain the core DNA of our oldest Highland Park whisky through each extremely limited batch release.”
In other words, this 2021 batch has been created using the 2018 release as one of its components. 50 years of age on a single malt whisky would be enough to demand those prices today, but this bottle’s value is backed by pedigree from the inclusion of the 2018 liquid.
“The whisky is spectacular,” explains Motion. “When I sampled the whisky, [it] had absorbed the rich sherried flavours of dried fruit and sweet toffee from its final first-fill cask maturation, but still retained all the delicate fragrance and flavours driven by the original refill casks.”
Official tasting notes describe the whisky as “Intensely rich, sweet and fragrant,” with, “Black cherries, muscovado sugar, peaches soaked in alcohol, dark chocolate, exotic spices, candied orange peel, roasted oak, ripe apricots, espresso coffee, light peat smoke.”
Built as a collector’s package, the Highland Park liquid is presented in a hand-made walnut box crafter by master craftsman John Galvin, within a specially designed bottle. It comes with a crystal decanter and leatherbound book detailing the history of the whiskies.
Highland Park 50 Year Old is bottled at 43.8 percent ABV, and is available internationally now through a limited number of specialist retailers. Each bottle has been personally signed by Gordon Motion, the Highland Park Master Whisky Maker.
To learn more, visit highlandparkwhisky.com.
Clay Whittaker is a Contributing Editor at Maxim.com. His work has appeared in Cigar Aficionado, Playboy, Esquire, Forbes, Town and Country, and elsewhere. You can subscribe to his newsletter here, and follow him on Instagram here.