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Recently, the stunning, and extraordinarily expensive (just over $15,000) , limited edition bottle designed for Highland Park’s oldest ever island single malt whisky – Highland Park 50 year old, won the award for Best Design at the World Whiskies Award 2012. What's inside the stunning bottle was also named Best Single Malt Scotch 41 Years and Over (Multiple Casks), at the 2012 Whisky Bible Awards.
With only 275 bottles produced, this prestigious edition has become an exclusive collectors’ item. Each bottle is unique, encased in an intricate ‘net cage’ of hand-crafted ornate sterling silver created by Scottish jewellery designer Maeve Gillies, who took inspiration from Orkney’s elemental forces. Maeve’s bottle design celebrates Orkney: its seas, island life, wild elements, incredible natural light and the passage of time.
The "50" has black enameling on the sterling silver and is subtly integrated into the silverwork:
Inspired by the wild and rugged natural elements of the Scottish island of Orkney, Maeve aimed to create a bottle that would visually communicate what made Highland Park unique without any words, as well as an object that was precious enough to be worthy of the oldest island single malt in the world.
The details are stamped into the sterling silver at the base on the back of the bottle:
A visitor to the beautiful Orkney islands since a child, Maeve conveyed a natural and nautical theme in her Sterling silver bottle, evoking ropes, twisted seaweed and a metal finish that looked like it could have been a very old and precious object, discovered washed up on the beach.
above: Silversmith and jeweler Maeve Gillies with her award-winning bottle design (photograph by hans offringa)
Set on the front is a disc of genuine Orcadian pink sandstone carved with Highland Park's logo, sourced from the original quarry that built the incredible 12th century St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall.
The St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall:
On the backside of the bottle, the medallion is replaced with a translucent glass cabochon:
Behind this, viewable through the glass when the whisky has been finished (although in the composited image below, the bottle is still full), is an ethereal silver replica of the beautiful rose window inside the Cathedral.
The actual Rosette Window in St. Magnus' Cathedral:
The bottle is presented in a hand-carved Scottish oak box, also shaped to feel worn by wild elements, and set with a silver and glass porthole, through which the Highland Park logo on the bottle inside can just be viewed.
The special edition of Highland Park 50 year old was initially launched at Harrods in London as a Limited Edition of 275 bottles for 10,000 GBP per bottle and is now available for purchase for at that same price: $15,811.00 USD or £10,000.00 (Size: 70cl 44.8% ABV) here