Country Scotch Whisky
Region Island Whisky
Distillery/Brand Highland Park
Style Single Malt Whisky

Dark Origins

Highland Park Dark Origins is a new core bottling that celebrates the early days of Magnus Eunson's illicit distilling on Orkney, back before the distillery was even founded in 1798. Magnus worked as a butcher and church official by day, but by night he was a legendary whisky smuggler and distiller outwitting the exciseman.

To honour their hero (the Batman of the Orkney Islands, if you will), Highland Park have created a whisky with a suitably 'dark' character. Using 80% first-fill Sherry casks (20% refill) - 60% are first-fill European oak, with 20% being first-fill American oak - an exciting, spicy, chocolatey whisky has been produced.

Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt

Nose Dusty baking spices and cocoa at first, cinnamon, vanilla, dates. Coffee cream Revels (possibly a couple of the orange ones too), a touch of blackcurrant/liquorice, plus butterscotch and an interplay between milk and dark chocolate.

Palate Sweet, fragrant peat emerges with nutty melted milk chocolate and a little orange alongside some pastries.

Finish Long and sweet, a little dry chocolate, just a hint of that heather smoke, then salivating.

Overall Rounded first-fill Sherry notes come from both the European and American oak casks. This is a great, chocolatey addition of a (teenage) no age statement release.

Allergy information

This product does not contain any notifiable allergens
More allergen information

Reviews for Highland Park Dark Origins
Never mind the marketing story, taste the whisky!
seriously good stuff at this price point. sweet oloroso influence and just enough HP smoke to make it interesting. Don't buy the anti-NAS hype, or the anti-Viking marketing hype (which I agree is stupid) . . . just drink the whisky. still available in places for around $70-ish U.S.
Master of Malt Customer
4 years ago
Great trip to the Park
This is my first experience with HP.
Got the bottle as a birthday gift.
This is a somewhat heavy whisky which will be perfect for moments of relaxation and reflection.

In the glass: Nice amber colour. The smell of sherry og a tad of alcohol is first to hit the nose. Then sweet, ripe fruits and cocoa/dark sugar.
Left to breathe, the sherry and alcohol wears off a bit and give more room for the fruitier sweetness.

In the mouth: Fat, oily and sweet with a mild hint of smoke outlining a surprising combo of cocoa and citrus fruit. Oh - and sugars -soooo dark sugars carried by a well integrated alcohol.

The finish is medium long. It carries the smokiness with the alcohol for a wee while but is then taken over by the sherry.

This one just has a lot going on and a lot to offer. I do see it getting bad reviews from some. If this is a bad HP, then the good ones must truly bed mighty.

Master of Malt Customer
4 years ago
Sweet, pleasant and lightly smoked
I could taste this one last night, really liked it. The nose is great, it is very sweet and welcoming on the palate, very enjoyable. It is quiet similar to the Amrut Peated, which is more fruity and complex, but has the same kind of flavour and dry finish.
Joel , Switzerland
5 years ago
Smoke and Sherry with a lot of Chocolate and oranges. A good whisky. Underrated.
Master of Malt Customer
5 years ago
Sherry with smoke, dried fruit and sugars. Long finish.
Complex, bold and very unique. Highly underrated.
Master of Malt Customer
5 years ago
Re: Never mind the whisky, taste the marketing story!
I love HP 12 and think it's a great distillery from some of the videos I watched. But I have to agree: someone needs to "speak truth to foolishness" here. I will be skipping the new viking-themed bottles of the 12 and other hyped product. I understand the need to sell volume - so release a separate bottling or line just for "consumers" (who are mostly using it to melt ice anyway). Why re-brand everything? The malt geeks don't care about vikings but such marketing insults our intelligence, it reeks of pop product. We only want to know about casks, maturation, barley, still shapes, etc. Could the new "viking" HP12 be as good as the previous bottling? Sure. But I'll never spend my money to find out. Lame marketing like that actually repels me.

Oh, and why would anyone in Scotland celebrate vikings? They looted ya! :)
Master of Malt Customer
5 years ago
Thanks for the calm
New to single malt (and scotch) Trying to acquaint myself with the fire and intensity. I like the nose and the finish mostly . I enjoy the slow relaxing feel of scotch. The savory coating of the tongue and palate. The resting in the mouth slow pace that pauses the spin of the planet for a bit. The experience in every drop is worth every cent invested. Seems to be extremely cost effective considering the small amount needed for a long sitting of enjoyment. Wine and others are drink. Good single malt is drips of sips and savor.
Master of Malt Customer
5 years ago
Never mind the whisky, taste the marketing story!
To honour their hero (the Marketing toad of the Orkney Islands, if you will), Highland Park have created a whisky with a suitably 'artificial' character. There is no age statement, it's all about first-fill sherry cask influence, 80% of 60% plus 20% (some of which... might or might not be refill) minus the number you first thought of.

By night he was a legendary budgie smuggler, exciting and spicy, outwitting the poor whisky buyers. Oh, and he had a VIKING name. Did I say VIKING loud enough?

The whisky? I have no idea - its all about the marketing , see?

Master of Malt Customer
6 years ago
HP Dark Origins
Wow, sherry and much more!
Master of Malt Customer
6 years ago
Great for sipping on chilly nights
I guess it is not to everyone's taste. But damn I do enjoy it.

It's the perfect pairing with our fall weather. I love the different favor notes.
Master of Malt Customer
6 years ago