Highland Park

Highland Park Spirit Of The Bear

Highland Park Spirit Of The Bear (40%, OB, 2018)

  • Category: Island single malt scotch whisky
  • Origin: Highland Park distillery
  • Bottling: Edrington, OB, Travel Retail
  • ABV: 40%
  • Cost: £44 (1L)

highland-park-spirit-of-the-bear 1

What they say

Resilient and self-sufficient, with a highly developed instinct for survival, the natural characteristics of the bear were much admired by our Viking ancestors.

Preparing for battle, Viking warriors believed they could harness the great bear’s mighty power and stamina by wrapping themselves in its skins. These fearless warriors became known as ‘berserkers’, their name derived from the old Norse words ‘ber’ – bear and ‘sekr ‘– skin.

Our island home on Orkney was under Viking rule for over 600 years and their myths and legends have become our own. Intensely smoky with a bold spiciness, SPIRIT OF THE BEAR is inspired by our Viking ancestors’ resilient nature and fierce independence – characteristics that sit at the heart of our whisky making today.

… his men rushed forwards without armour… and were strong as bears… but neither fire nor iron told upon themselves. These were called Berserker.

The Ynglinga Saga, Chapter 6, Of Odin’s Accomplishments

Official tasting notes:

  • Bright golden straw (average colour tint 10)
  • Smoky peat | Root ginger | Freshly grated nutmeg | Sweet vanilla pods

What I say

Thanks to Tom at Toms Whisky Reviews for sharing a sample.

Typical Travel Retail Exclusive – little detail about how this is made, no age-statement or cask types etc.

Advertised as Smoky & Bold, so assuming it is made from the same peated stock that was used in the production of Hobbister then this stock must be around 8 years old now.

My tasting notes:

  • Appearance: Amber gold (10/20), medium-large tears and legs.
  • Nose: Heather honey, fruit, orange, lemon or tangerine citrus, golden syrup, a little peaty, smoky bacon crisps or smoky bacon with maple syrup on pancakes.
  • Taste: Young and oily on the palate, sweet fruits, honey, orange, ginger root, sour, oak wood, heathery and earthy peat.
  • Finish: Medium, pepper, heather brush smoke & honey.


Smoky but gentle & easy going (not bold), lots of sweet fruits, vanilla and slightly drying and oaky.

Score 77/100

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Categories: Highland Park, Island

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