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Vikings seem to have recently captured our imaginations as exhibited by the popular TV series. Now, here’s a true Viking tale! Over 220 years ago the Vikings settled Orkney, the northernmost part of Scotland. Magnus Eunson, butcher and church officer by day, and bootlegger by night and this distilleries founder, is a direct descendant of those Vikings. The distillery was “founded” in 1798 but in truth that’s just the year that authorities finally caught up with Magnus – he was certainly making whisky before that.

The bottle carries through with this Viking theme. The decorative “M” which stands for Magnus, is done in the Viking art style called Urnes and harkens back to the legend of a lion locked in battle with the forces of evil in the form of serpent like dragons. The top of the bottle also features the heads of two serpent-like dragons as well as the brand’s signature “The Orkney Single Malt with Viking Soul”. It really seems like this is the beverage to drink while watching Game of Thrones.

This whisky is crafted using a high proportion of Sherry seasoned American oak casks, along with refill casks, which add to its flavor profile. And speaking of its flavor profile, let’s get to it and see what this Viking whisky is all about. The whiskey itself is a pale golden color and the nose first presents with that familiar peaty smoky, slightly oaky aroma and then delights with hints of caramel, vanilla and citrus. The palate also presents the smoky, oaky peat flavor first followed by a slightly spicy citrus with the vanilla and sherry bringing up the rear. The finish is sparingly spicy, lightly citrusy and, of course, peaty and smoky and lasts a medium amount of time leaving trace amounts of sherry.

This is a delightful single malt Scotch with a lot of flavors going for it but none competing with the other. It is also a smooth scotch that can be enjoyed straight up. Adding a rock or two to the glass intensifies the oaky, smoky peaty flavors while subduing the vanilla, sherry and citrus. If you truly enjoy the taste of Scotch you won’t be disappointed. If you’re new to scotch you won’t be disappointed either as this is a very palatable scotch especially if you add an ice cube or two. Enjoy!

You can find Magnus Highland Park Single Malt Scotch for around $32.99 to $49.99 per 750ML bottle that is 40% ABV or 80 proof.

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By George Brozowski