Highland Park Debuts $54,000 Whisky To Celebrate Huge Milestone

It would be impossible to talk about Highland Park without mentioning Scotland. It's as deeply ingrained in the brand's image as the whisky it makes. The distillery has been making whisky since 1798 on the isle of Orkney, an archipelago of about 70 islands located 10 miles off the Scottish mainland. 

Orkney was originally settled by Vikings, and much of the whisky purveyor's craft and branding is directly inspired by the region's historical ties to the Vikings of Norway and Denmark. Highland Park even makes a 12 Year Old Viking Honour whisky in homage to its heritage. Now, as the Orkney distillery celebrates its 225th birthday, Highland Park is rolling out the oldest release in brand history in honor of the milestone.

Introducing: the single-malt scotch whisky that's been aged for 54 years. To make the offering even more exclusive, Highland Park is only producing 225 bottles of it. Plus, each 700ml bottle runs for a sobering $54,000. That's the same price as 2,160 bottles of Maker's Mark from a Target in Brooklyn, NY – and that's just the initial estimate. 

According to Highland Park's website, in order to procure a bottle, whisky fans have to send the distillery their shipping address before an individual shipping estimate can be calculated, along with package insurance to make sure the delivery arrives securely. Here's what makes this batch so special.

A taste of the old to ring in the new

According to Highland Park's master whisky-maker Gordon Motion (via Forbes), the whisky's long journey started back in 1968. To put that in perspective, in 1968, Nixon was elected, Apollo 8 orbited the moon for the first time, and Billboard's Hot 100 was occupied by The Beatles, Cream, and The Jimi Hendrix Experience.  

In short, it's been a long time. Since then, says Motion, the batch was aged in cases and held in decanters specifically designed to house its unique flavor profile. 

In 2008, the batch was transferred into first-fill sherry seasoned casks to mature for the next 14 years. The result is a whisky with deep color and intense smoky flavor, with notes of camphor, lychee, vintage oak, and peat. It finishes spiced and sweet with coriander, cumin, rose, jasmine, honeyed kiwi, and pistachio biscotti. The profile is complex, to say the least — and it took five decades to create. Plus, it packs a 46.9% ABV to boot, rivaling navy strength gin.

As a final tip of the hat to Highland Park's heritage, the commemorative whisky is packaged in a Scottish oak box abstractly carved to resemble the cliffs of Yesnaby in Scotland. For whisky connoisseurs thirsty to get a taste for themselves, the 54-year whisky is available for purchase online via Highland Park's website and from select specialty spirits retailers around the world.