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Tuesday, 29 August 2006

My favourit Single Malt Scotch Whiskey is Voted No. 1

Highland Park named world's No1 spirit - EBEN HARRELL
A whiskey produced at a distillery in Orkney has been named the best spirit in the world by Spirits Journal, a leading drinks magazine in the United States. The Highland Park 18-year-old single malt topped a list of the world's 100 best distilled spirits, published in the American Spirit Journal. The list was compiled by the American drinks specialist Paul Pacult, who judged thousands of whiskies, rums, gins, vodkas, tequilas and other distilled spirits for the list.

He said: "Out of the hundreds of whiskies from Scotland, Canada, the US, Japan, India and Ireland, Highland Park 18-year-old is the finest of them all and right now is my favourite distilled spirit. He added: "After 25 years' experience, it fits my profile of what makes a perfect whisky, which is to say it's totally in harmony, there are no rough edges and everything is melded together brilliantly."

The announcement was welcomed by Highland Park, which is based in Kirkwall, Orkney. Ken Grier, the director of malts for the distillery, said: "It's not only a huge accolade for Highland Park, it's a major achievement for Scottish whisky. "It's fantastic for the industry as a whole and it underpins the care, craft and attention we put into our brands."

Yesterday, an independent whisky expert said the award would not come as a surprise to lovers of Scottish whisky as the Highland Park 18-year old is a "single malt that really sings to you". Jim Murray, the author of the international bestseller Jim Murray's Whisky Bible, said the whisky was very nearly flawless. "It's the kind of whisky that if you are entertaining a young lady who doesn't like whisky and you pour a Highland Park 18, you will convert her.

"It is a massively beautiful whisky. On the nose, it's like an empty honey jar that once held peaty embers. It possesses a soft sweetness that is never over the top." Murray added that his favourite whisky is not Highland Park 18, but George T Stagg, a bourbon produced at the Buffalo Trace Distillery in America. "There's no doubt that [the Highland Park] is one of the best, however," he added.

Highland Park was established in 1798 and is Scotland's northernmost distillery. The brand, which has already won awards from Whisky Magazine and the Chicago Beverage Testing Institute, launched the 18-year-old single malt in 1997. It is priced at £58 a bottle. Other Scotch whiskies in the list's top ten included Ardbeg Uigeadail Islay Single Malt which came fourth, Bowmore Darkest Sherry Single Malt (ninth) and The Macallan Fine Oak 15-Year-Old Speyside Single Malt (tenth).

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