This whiskey was made in the same year that The Beatles released the "White Album".
It can be interesting to think about the important events that happened in the year that the ultra-aged whiskey was distilled. In the case of the Highland Park Distillery's new 54-year-old single malt, 1968 was marked by tragedies like the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy, as well as inspirational events like Apollo 8 orbiting the Moon and the release of the White Album. But all this had no effect on this ultra-rare single malt.
Highland Park 54 Year Old is the oldest whiskey ever released by the distillery, and it comes just in time for its 225th anniversary. The distillery is located in Orkney, an archipelago in the far north of Scotland. The core line is full of Viking imagery in homage to the region's Norse heritage — names like Viking Honor, Viking Heart and Viking Pride anchor the range, with special editions such as Valknut and Valkyrie appearing.
This new whiskey was distilled in 1968, as already mentioned, and was originally put into sherry casks and then into six hogsheads. It matured in those barrels until 2008 when it was blended and left again in sherry casks for the next 14 years.
"This extremely rare 54-year-old single malt Scotch whiskey has been nurtured through careful maturation and harmonisation," said head whiskey maker Gordon Motion in a statement. "Representing a quarter of Highland Park's life, we felt it was a fitting way to mark our 225th anniversary - born and made in the heart of Orkney."
Tasting notes describe a rich and deep whiskey with peat and oak on the nose, followed by pistachios, caraway, rose and a hint of kiwi on the palate. The bottle comes in a bespoke box made from Scottish oak and includes an invitation for the customer to come visit Orkney (which seems fair considering the price). The box was designed by John Galvin and is meant to represent the Orkney cliffs of Yesnaby, while the bottle is meant to evoke the red sandstone of those same cliffs and the volcanic activity that formed these rugged islands.
There are only 225 bottles of Highland Park 54 available worldwide, which seems very convenient with the anniversary coming up. Each is priced at $54,000 (also surely no coincidence), and will be available at select retailers starting this month.