The Campfire Dram

Review // Highland Park Twisted Tattoo (16y) – Hang out with Iörmungandr!

September 9, 2019

In Norse mythology, the skalds tell of a giant sea-serpent, coiled around the world, ready to emerge from the depths of the ocean and spread its dominance over the land.. Earlier this year, Highland Park’s Twisted Tattoo emerged from their distillery in Kirkwall, eager to establish its reputation with sophistication and a robust constitution…


If you own this bottle, make sure you keep it in sight the entire time…


With Twisted Tattoo, Highland Park releases a spiritual successor to Full Volume, their previous limited edition expression. For this release, Highland Park asked the world-famous tattoo artist Colin Dale of Skin and Bone to collaborate. Being Danish, he has strong links to his ancestral culture, and it comes as no surprise his designs fit perfectly on a Highland Park bottle. When held in your hand, the bottle greets you with a beautiful image of the mythical Iörmungandr, the snake which, according to Viking legend, grew so big it could curl around Midgard (that’s us) and bite its own tail. Sometimes the artwork on a bottle is enough to convince you to take it home.

The Highland Park collection is ever-growing, and Twisted Tattoo is a delicious addition to the continuum. If you come across a bottle, do not hesitate. And get us a bottle too! This expression is a combination of 153 exRioja casks and 70 first-fill exBourbon casks. The result is a lightgolden whisky of 46,7%, with a proud age statement of 16 years on the bottle. Twisted Tattoo is not a whisky which strangles you, though. With its gentle yet pronounced flavours of peat, peach, sweet berries, creamy vanilla, raisins, and a hint of smoke, it is beautifully layered in taste. Sophisticated, robust, and an absolute pleasure to enjoy.

After a while, you start expecting only top-notch quality from Highland Park. It is definitely worth mentioning that, even though their collection of expressions is ever growing , the individual expressions are often unique enough never to be confused by previous releases. Somewhere in the bowels of the distillery, master distillers are tweaking, tasting, and experimenting. I wonder whether they used Full Volume as a base for Twisted Tattoo. If so, the Masters of Kirkwall, like the Dwarves of Niðavellir, might be working on something even grander. For now, their secrets are kept safe…


Twisted Tattoo Photo is © Highland Park

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