Highland Park Voyage of the Raven Review

“One Raven Doesn’t Make a Summer”

Whisky Review # 823

Country: Scotland
Region: Highlands - Orkney
Brand: Highland Park Voyage of the Raven
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 41.3%
Maturation: Mix of Ex-Bourbon and a high percentage of First Fill Sherry Wood
Chill Filtration: Yes
Price Range: US$ 55-75 (August 2019)
Buying Advice: 😐 Nothing special. Better stay with the core range. P/Q: 😒


Golden (Natural Colour)


The Sherry Cask influence is clear and a little Sulphur is noticeable. Nothing too serious though. The Nose is Young, Fruity, Waxy and Sweet. Some Green notes as well. The Smoke weaves its spell in the background. It's all a bit Light but not unpleasant.

Main Aromas:

Malted Barley, Buttered Toast, Vanilla, Grass and Straw, Honey, Apricot filled Puff Pastry, Nutella, Smoke, Dry Earth, Dark Berries, Prunes, Orange, Dark Chocolate filled with Raisins, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Ginger.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Caramel, Musty Oak, Rubber, Wet Paper, Polished Leather and Tobacco.


Young and on the Thin side. A not very convincing mix of Sweet, Bitter and Sour notes. I was expecting more after the Nose.

Main Flavours:

Malted Barley, slightly Burnt Toast, Vanilla, Dark Berries, Prunes,  Nuts, Smoke, Dry Earth, Grass and Straw, Nectarine, Grapefruit, Dark Chocolate, Cinnamon, Pepper, Nutmeg and Ginger.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Salted Caramel, Raisins, Polished Leather, Tobacco, Rubber, Marzipan, Stewed Fruit, Dried Herbs and Musty Oak.


Short/Middle-Long. Sweet at first but with some Bitter and Sour notes towards the Medium-Dry end. I find Sweet Barley, Vanilla, Caramel, Hazelnuts, Dough, Grass and Straw, Musty Oak, Smoke, Dry Earth, Grapefruit, Cinnamon, Pepper, Nutmeg, Ginger, Cloves, Dried Herbs, Menthol and Dark Chocolate.

Drinking Advice:

I added a little Water and that intensifies Malt and Smoke on the Nose. Palate and Smoke become quite Thin with an increasing Wet Newspaper note. Better sip it neat.

Rating: 83.5

Nose: 21.5  - Taste: 21 - Finish: 20 - Overall: 21

Drinking Experience Neat: Good


The distillery was founded in 1798 by David Robertson. It is located in the small town of Kirkwall on the isle of Orkney.  Orkney is still quite strongly influenced by its Viking past and the distillery has increasingly used this past as a rather successful marketing tool. Highland Park currently produces around 2.3 million litres of Alcohol and is owned since 1997 by the Edrington Group. The core range consists of the 10 years (Viking Scars), the 12 years (Viking Honour), the 18 years (Viking Pride), the 25, 30 and 40 years.

The Story behind this Single Malt is the following: For the Vikings who once ruled the Orkney Isles, the Raven was a powerful symbol of victory in battle, success on a voyage and loyalty to the god Odin. Ravens were the trusted guides of the early voyagers that left the Northern shores in search of new horizons. Ravens became symbols of good fortune on many Viking long ships.

The Voyage of the Raven was released in 2017, initially for Travel Retail only. It is not really a bad Single Malt but I strongly feel that Highland Park is overdoing the Viking heritage stuff a bit. Story, Image and Price seem more important than the effective quality of the Whisky. But Highland Park fans from all over the world seem to love it all. So who am I to complain? What I do know though is that it's way better to let the Raven guide you to the above mentioned core range. You are much better served that way. So help me Odin!


Jan van den Ende                                                                    August 1, 2019

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