The first Highland Park store has opened on Orkney to coincide with International Viking Day.
Patricia Retson, a recently retired education host at the single malt’s distillery, officially opened the outlet in Kirkwall.
Seven new staff have been taken on to run the whisky experience and store, which sells merchandise and has a tasting room. Another four employees will join the team during the summer season.
Patricia has welcomed more than half a million visitors during her 20 years with Highland Park distillery and was a recent recipient of the industry’s prestigious Keepers of the Quaich accolade.
She said: “It was an honour and a pleasure to open the new Highland Park store. I hope to see many more visitors discover Orkney and Highland Park’s exciting history.”
International Viking Day is celebrated as the date when islanders’ Viking ancestors would shed their winter clothes and prepare their ships for travel.
The newly launched shop includes a gallery featuring works from local creatives. Orkney photographer and digital influencer Kendra Towns is the first to feature her collection of images inspired by the light on the islands.
Jason Craig, Highland Park global brand director, joined Patricia to mark the occasion with a reading of a traditional Viking poem.
He said: “We’re excited to open the doors to our new shop and share even more of our world with our visitors. It felt fitting, on a day believed to be about embarking on new adventures for our Nordic ancestors, that we’ve embarked on ours.
“We could think of no better ambassador to open our new store than Patricia. She retired from her role as senior VP and education host at the Highland Park Distillery in April, having helped us create a multi award-winning visitor experience.
“Patricia’s commitment to the industry and passion for our rich history makes her a true modern day Viking Soul.”