In a nutshell: A rich, well balanced and malty Island single malt matured in sherry seasoned European and American oak casks.
The lowdown: One of the core whiskies of their range the 12 Year Old Viking Honour is predominantly aged in sherry seasoned European and American oak casks. It's rich with well balanced malty tones and a subtle florality. The heather-honey sweetness and peaty smokiness on the nose is followed by a warming, silky mouthfeel and nicely rounded smoky sweetness on the palate. And it signs off with waves of smoky honey, fruitcake and heather in a long lingering finish.
While its actual origins are somewhat shrouded in half truth and myth it's accepted that distilling started around this part of the Orkney Islands at towards the end of the eighteenth century. However it wasn't until the late 1800s under the ownership of William Stuart and James Grant that things started to fall into line. In 1937 it was sold to Highland Distillers and since 1999 Highland Park has been part of the Edrington Group's extensive stable of distilleries.
Only Orcadian peat is used at Highland Park and it differs from that used on the mainland or on Islay; it's reckoned to be more fragrant and more lightly smoky. Maturation in Sherry oak casks is also one of their signature practices and gives a layer of richness to the lightly smoky, fragrant and fruity character of their whiskies.