Highland Park Einar Review

Country: Scotland 
Region: Highland-Island-Orkney
Brand: Highland Park Einar 
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: NAS
ABV:  40 % 

Colour: Bright Gold

Nose: Peat, Pineapple-Juice, light Smoke, Heather, Unripe Bananas and a hint of Leather are my first impressions. I also find some Alcohol, light Spices, Oak, Malt, Butter and Nuts.

Palate: Thin Delivery. Mighty Einar himself would have questioned this too low ABV. I get Peat, light Smoke, Pepper, Ginger, Heather, Licorice, Citrus Peel, Oak, Nuts, Pineapple and Syrup.

Finish: Sweet at first but Dry later on with Vanilla, Syrup, Heather, light Smoke, Pepper, Nuts, Citrus and a hint of Meat that lingers on a bit together with the Smoke.

I added a bit of Water but that did not provoke significant changes in the Flavour and Aroma Profile. Better sip it neat. I actually enjoyed it over a little Ice. If you like JW Black on the Rocks this might be a good alternative once in a while. Vikings and Ice always went well together historically!

Rating: 84

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 21  - Finish:  20.5 - Overall: 21

General Remarks: Highland Park, founded in 1798, is the most northerly distillery in Scotland and is located on the Orkney Isles, off the North-East coast of Scotland. The distillery uses local Orcadian Peat, that mostly consists of Heather and other Plants. Only a limited amount of the Malt is dried with Peat though. Highland Park matures its spirits in Ex-Sherry casks from both Spanish and, curiously, American Oak. Highland Park is one the very few remaining distilleries that malts (at least part of) the Barley on its own malting floor. The Einar matures in 75% American Oak and 25% European Oak casks. Einar is part of the Warrior Series consisting of 6 Single Malts to be exclusively sold in the Travel Retail market. Einar, Svein and Harald have been released while Sigurd, Ragnvald and Thorfinn will follow later in 2013. All were named after real Nordic figures that played a part in the history of the Isle of Orkney. Einar was a ruthless Viking warrior who always carried a sharp and deadly Axe. Eventually, Einar became the overall ruler of the Isle of Orkney. The HP Einar will sell at around 65 US Dollars for a litre bottle.

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion: Given the size of his Axe, I am sure that Einar made a very powerful impression on anyone he came across. I think that a whisky with his name should have the same effect. But it doesn't I'm afraid. The Nose is rather shy and the delivery is too thin on account of the low ABV of 40%. Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad Single Malt. But Einar would have liked to see this whisky powerful, brutal and overwhelming. And such characteristics this Highland Park does not possess.

Jan van den Ende                                                                    June 1, 2013


Whiskycuse said...

Hello Jan,
I like HP Malts very much, but I have never tasted this one, so far. Seems to be a nice dram, but maybe a little to expensive, considering its average quality, isn´t it?


Jan van den Ende said...

Hi Marcus, it's a very average HP in my opinion. I would not spend 65 US Dollars on it!

Anonymous said...

Trying Einar now. Just like Talisker Storm it has no age statement and these whiskies appear to have been developed by the marketing department, not the distiller.

Jan van den Ende said...

Hi there, thanks for your comment! Yes, we see this happen a lot lately. Marketing is all important in our daily lifes, unfortunately also in the whisky industry.

Cesar said...

Hello Jan, i tried the HP Einar and it is very, but really very similar to the famous JW Blue Label, which i took recently. Good surprise, but the HP 12 is much better than both!

Jan van den Ende said...

Hi Cesar, thanks for commenting. It's quite interesting that you made the comparison between JW Blue and HP. I'm pretty sure there's no HP in JW Blue. But they both share the light Smoke and Heather notes. And I agree with you, better stick to the 12 years!