As whisky aficionados, it’s always incredibly exciting to step into the dimly lit ambiance of the DaVinci Hotel’s MAXIM Lounge – Sandton’s most elite and exclusive whisky, wine and cigar lounge offering an atmosphere of sophistication and elegance with an emphasis on luxury.

On this very special evening we were set to take a journey of taste and tradition through the wild harmony of Highland Park Single Malts. Amidst the soft hum of conversation and clinking of glasses, a small group of other whisky enthusiasts joined us for an evening of exploration of the depth and character of Highland Park whiskies. A selection of deliciously considered canapes ensured our senses were activated before our knowledgeable host took us on a tasting journey that traversed through the expressions of Highland Park 10YO, 12YO, and 15YO. Each unveiled a unique narrative woven from Orkney’s rich heritage and artistry of whisky making.

We commenced with Highland Park 10YO – a whisky that embodies the essence of the Orkney Islands. As the golden liquid filled the glass, it exuded a delicate aroma, reminiscent of heather-covered hills and coastal breezes. The first sip revealed a harmonious balance of flavours, with notes of honeyed sweetness intertwined with subtle hints of peat smoke. This younger expression imparted a lively warmth that lingered long after each sip. The finish was smooth and satisfying, leaving a gentle caress of oak and vanilla on the palate.

Transitioning to Highland Park 12YO, our journey delved deeper into the heart of Orkney’s rugged landscape and ancient traditions. With a slightly darker hue and a richer aroma, this expression exuded a sense of maturity and complexity which really appealed to my palate. The nose was greeted by the inviting scent of dried fruits, mingling with the sweet aroma of caramel and toffee. Upon tasting, layers of flavour unfolded gracefully, revealing notes of dark chocolate, toasted oak, and a whisper of peat smoke. A velvety texture, accentuated by hints of spice and honey, culminating in a warm lingering finish.

As the tasting progressed to Highland Park 15YO, anticipation filled the air, for this expression promised to be the epitome of Orkney’s whisky craftsmanship. With a deep amber hue, Highland Park 15 exuded an aura of elegance and sophistication. The nose was an enchanting tapestry of aromas, with notes of dried fruits and honey. Each sip unfolded a vibrant myriad of complexities. The finish was long and luxurious, leaving a lingering impression of sweet spices and oak – a testament to the artistry and dedication of Highland Park’s master distillers.

Throughout the evening, the atmosphere grew into one of true appreciation for the craftsmanship behind each expression. We engaged in lively discussions, sharing our thoughts on each savoured sip. Our host provided invaluable insights into the distillation process, the influence of Orkney’s unique terroir and the significance of aging in oak casks, enriching the tasting experience with a deeper understanding of the whisky’s provenance and character.

It was a truly captivating evening of discovery, offering a glimpse into rich heritage and time-honoured traditions. From the vibrant freshness of Highland Park 10YO to the intricate complexity of Highland Park 15YO, each expression stirred our senses.

These tasting take place on the last Thursday of every month and are ideal for whisky lovers and novices alike. To book your experience, contact Janine Radel on 011 292 7131 or