The birth of Highland Queen was in 1893, when Roderick Macdonald decided to set up in business for the first time. The company was known as Macdonald & Muir Ltd.
Within 10 years of starting his business, Roderick Macdonald had developed his blends to the stage where he believed he could successfully enter the production field. This resulted in the acquisition of the Glenmorangie Distillery in Tain to supply the whisky for the base of his famous Highland Queen blend.
Highland Queen was the flag carrier of Macdonald & Muir Ltd for most of the 20th century. The brand name derives from the association of the port of Leith and the original production site by the harbour of Macdonald & Muir in 1893, and the triumphal arrival of Mary Stuart at this spot in 1561. She was later to be crowned Queen of Scots, thus creating one of Scotland’s most famous and loved legends.
This legend is kept alive today through Highland Queen Scotch Whisky, which represents the enduring and noble values, history and independent spirit of Scotland and its whisky, embodied in the legendary character of Mary Queen of Scots.
Highland Queen Blended
This is a sweet and clean blend with hints of honey, apples and toffee. The taste is light bodied and sweet with the honey and apples initially detectable on the nose picked up on tasting. There is also a liquorice taste present at the back of the palate, which remains into the finish, which is short.
Highland Queen Sherry Cask Finish
On the nose there are the sweet spicy notes of the sherry, mixed with hints of fresh barley and marzipan. In the mouth the whisky is silky smooth, with the sweetness of the sherry combining perfectly with the smoothness of the oak, and subtle hints of smoke. The finish is long and smooth.
Highland Queen 1561
Pale Golden in colour, on the nose the aromas of apple and cinnamon, with hints of salted caramel and toffee are prominent. Tingly and mouth-warming notes of spiced cinnamon and apple crumble, with hints of dried fruit. A long and smooth finish.
Highland Queen 1561 30 Year Old
To celebrate the 120th anniversary of Highland Queen, Highland Queen have decided to produce a limited volume of this exclusive 30 years old blend in the traditional manner. Their master distiller has taken a selection of top quality malts from 1982, and married this together with a selection of grain whiskies from 1978 and 1979. Highland Queen has always been renowned for the high percentage of malt used in its blends, and this is reflected in the 30 years old blend which has a malt content of over 75%! This blend has then been recasked into sherry butts, which were widely used in the 20th century in the Scotch Whisky industry, and left to marry together for a further 6 months.
The sweetness from the sherry cask comes through on the nose, together with notes of butterscotch, leather and spices. We can also detect hints of cinnamon and apple. In the mouth the whisky is exceptionally smooth and elegant, there are hints of smoke and an underlying flavor of cinnamon apple crumble. The finish is long and elegant.