In the beginning I tried writing in both, English and German but switched for obvious reasons to German only. The theme I use on my blog is quite good, but a two row layout is to much to handle easily on my iPad. Also it was much more convinient to just write in my native language. But this will be changed soon, as I’m starting to revive my blog and came to the conclusion, that most Whisky lovers are actually able to understand English, even if it is not their native language, as it is for me.
This article is going to be about my favourite distillery, waaaaaay up in the north of Scotland, it’s going to be about Highland Park. I will not go into a discussion about the pricing on some bottlings or the tours available at the distillery. If you think that a specific bottling is to expensive, so be it. If you don’t like their pricing or marketing model, so be it. I do not agree with everything they do or bottle either. But that doesn’t keep me from liking the distillery and the community behind/around it.
I’m not even sure, at what point I joined the “Highland Park Appreciation Society” – short HPAS – on Facebook but apperently I did at some point. You have to know, I’m kind of the “stalker” type, when it comes to Facebook. I read lots of postings but I rarley comment. But over time I came across the path of Martin, a Senior Brand Ambassador with Highland Park. Actually not just “a” but THE Senior Brand Ambassador. Search for “Martin Highland Park” and you will find him (and you will know that it is him, when you see his profile picture!). At some point Martin managed to get a special bottling (just) for the HPAS (WOW!!), limited to 570ish bottles. Unfortunetley the link was also shared outside the community and some bottles ended up in auctions. It was clear from the beginning, that only some 570ish members could get a bottel (the group is over 2.600 memebers…), but some people interested missed the opportunity as the bottling sold out quite quickly.
One of them not getting a bottle was me, but I was just “OK, maybe (if there is a) next time.” – “I have to turn on the notifications for this group”, was also something I learned. But fear not, there are some “knights in shining armour” out there! Stephen Manfrés posted, that he got a bottle from another memeber of the HPAS (which wanted to remain unknown). This Saint, as Stephen called him, bought the bottle on an action site and DONATED it for sharing to all members (as supply lasts) who weren’t lucky enough to get a (big) bottle. He just asked to donation some money (as many as everyone wants) for the RNLI, the Sea Rescue / Lifeboat Foundation on Orkney! Stephen then managed this bottle split and some other memebers (I’ll also call them Saints) chimed in and offered some of their HPAS bottling as well.
I was just blown away from the generosity of this one – unknown – member, much more by the fact, that there were even more out there, willing to share their Whisky. Most of them even refused to carge for the shipping costs – keep in mind that Stephen distributed the incoming requests so that every contributer had to send something between five and ten packages! That is one of the reasons I love Whisky, why I love the Whisky community, why I still haven’t lost faith in humanity. In a world full of selfishness, egomaniacs and crazy people, there is still humaity, generosity and decenty in some people.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s totaly OK if you buy a bottle and share it, to ask for some compensation in return. I’ve taken part in some bottle shares as well and I would have gladly paid for this sample. Instead I donated some money to the RNLI, as wished. Would I have acted the same, if I were one of the lucky owners of this special Whisky? I really don’t know, I guess I wouldn’t have tought about that. But if asked I probably would have shared some of it. I know, it’s easy to say something like that now, but maybe – if there is another bottling for the HPAS – I will be the lucky one next time. Then I can prove my worthiness to be in the HPAS. I’ll open the sample I recived by the generosity of one HPAS member later today. And maybe I’ll post some of my tasting notes about this dram another time, here on my blog! Till then, all the best and