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Embrace Your Inner Warmth This Winter With Highland Park

Highland Park Cask Strength Release No. 1 is the distillery’s dram at its purest form.

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For generations, whisky has been savored and sipped during the coldest times of the year. During a windy, icy winter that never seems to end, there’s going to be an appreciation for a full-flavored Scotch whisky, straight from a sherry-seasoned American oak cask to your bottle. Highland Park Cask Strength Release No. 1 is as pure as it gets: the Scotch whisky is undiluted by water, and only gently filtered, to ensure the essential DNA and natural color of the whisky stays intact.

In Scotland, the law of the land defines Scotch whisky as having just three ingredients: water, yeast, and malted barley. It’s as simple as that. And yet, whisky enthusiasts will talk endlessly about the notes they pick up: hints of fruit, winter spices, and floral tones like violet, all within a dram as complex as this first cask-strength release. From just three ingredients, how can one derive such complexity and so many combinations of flavors? In food and drink alike, fire acts as a catalyst, able to unlock new and complex flavors (think of the burnt crust of a crème brûlée, for example). Burning Highland Park’s exclusive peat, from Orkney’s ancient moors, adds a richness to the malted barley in every sip.

The right cask makes a world of difference. Highland Park’s distillers opt for sherry-seasoned casks, hand-selected from a combination of American and European oak staves and matured with Spanish oloroso sherry for two years before they head up north. These casks take on distinct flavor profiles through age and use, then impart that harmonious flavor into the whisky. It’s a rigorous process, and deservedly so: at least 60 percent of Highland Park’s flavors and 100 percent of its color comes from the cask.

And what a color. Rich and golden, Cask Strength Release No. 1 carries Highland Park’s traditional balance of flavors — aromatic, lingering peat smoke and soft toffee malt. But there are also notes of sun-ripened citrus, freshly grated nutmeg, and the distillery’s signature heather honey.

Even if you’ve never been to Orkney, tasting a cask-strength whisky from Highland Park is almost as good as being right in the distillery, pulling from the storeroom with Master Whisky Maker Gordon Motion. This is Highland Park’s first cask-strength offering, but it’ll be part of the permanent lineup of award-winning whiskies — and its most pure and unadulterated one yet.

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