Orkney Islands (67 islands in total) are located in the north of Scotland. Of the 17 inhabited islands, live in total only 19 000 inhabitants. However, on the pitfalls we can observe the largest population of marine birds in Great Britain. Orkney are actually on the same latitude as St. Petersburg in Russia. Yet, thanks to Golfstream, it is rarely very cold. Since the climate is temperate most of the year, it is rarely more than 16 ° C in summer.
These islands owe their name to the Vikings, who christened the group of islands Orkneyia, the “islands of seals.” On the island of Mainland is the capital, Kirkwall, with its 7000 inhabitants. It is said to be one of the most intriguing cities in Scotland. This pretty town is known for the St. Magnus Festival which takes place every year in June.
Skara Brea, the oldest town in Britain, which is west of Mainland, is also worth a visit. Settled around 3100 BC, it remained inhabited for 500 years before being buried in quicksand. In 1850, a terrible storm brought to light many ruins, remnants of the city at the age of stone, which can be visited today. Equally interesting is the visit of Maes Howe prehistoric burial chamber, dating from 2700 BC.
For whiskey lovers, Kirkwall is particularly interesting because it is here that is Highland Park. A little further south, near the bay of Scapa Flow, where is located the Scapa distillery. Nevertheless, this distillery is still a little in the shadow comparing to its northern neighbor.
The style of Orkney whiskey
Orkney malts are characterized by aromas of smoke, a very malty and deep taste and also a long finish. Experts believe that the rain falling on Scotland’s distilleries feed a karstic phenomenon (water flow in limestone terrain), passing under the arm of the sea.
The water used comes from a stream called Lingro Burn and is very peaty. However, the malt is not at all peaty. The Highland Park distillery, on the edge of Kirkwall in Orkney, has more affinity with the West Highlands, such as taste, pale color or fragrance, symbolizing the fragrant freshness of malt whiskeys of Northern Highlands. Highland Park, semi-sweet medium-high, has a scent of heather and peat notes.
The fragrance brings the smell of heather honey with spices, almonds and has a dry finish.