New limited edition whisky to fund archaeological dig at world famous Ness of Brodgar

The annual excavation at the Neolithic complex of Ness of Brodgar will get underway next month, with a new Highland Park whisky to help fund the dig. PIC: Creative Commons/Stevekeiretsu
The annual excavation at the Neolithic complex of Ness of Brodgar will get underway next month, with a new Highland Park whisky to help fund the dig. PIC: Creative Commons/Stevekeiretsu
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A new limited edition whisky will help fund the annual archaeological dig at the stunning Neolithic complex of Ness of Brodgar in Orkney.

Highland Park distillery in Orkney has launched 5,000 bottles of Ness of Brodgar's Legacy with a percentage of proceeds from sales to go to the trust that leads the excavation of the site, which is around 5,000 years old.

Jason R. Craig, Highland Park’s global brand director, said: “Our purpose is to honour the proud spirit of Orkney so it is important for us to support organisations like the Ness of Brodgar Trust to help learn more and conserve the work of our ancestors.

“Orkney’s earliest Neolithic settlers would have been attracted by the light, fertile soil, abundant natural resources and temperate climate. Cultivating the land, they introduced barley — a crucial ingredient of our whisky — and they burned Orkney’s rich, heathery peat, just as we do in our kilns today.”

The dig at Ness of Brodgar opens for a short period of time over the summer — from July 1 until August 23 – and welcomes visitors from around the world. Each season costs around £200,000, covering both the digging period and subsequent work by specialists in labs, processing vast amounts of data, examining thousands of pieces of information excavated each year.

Nick Card, director, Ness of Brodgar Trust, said: “Barley and peat are the common bond between Highland Park and the Ness of Brodgar. At the Ness we have extensive evidence of their earliest use in Scotland, tracing our shared roots back over 5,000 years. Highland Park’s support will contribute to our exploration of this unique place, contributing to a world-wide understanding of our Neolithic ancestors.”

Ness of Brodgar sits close to the Ring of Brodgar and the Standing Stones of Stenness, both part of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Sit.

The astonishing network of buildings was discovered in 2002, when a geophysical survey revealed a huge complex , indicating many buildings beneath the Ness.

The dense concentration of structures astonished the worldwide archaeological community.

A special launch night of the new Highland Park whisky will take place at at Stenness Community School, in conjunction with the Ness of Brodgar Trust, on June 22 and 23, between 10am and 4pm, where bottles can be reserved and then collected from the Highland Park shop in Albert Street, Kirkwall, from June 24 onwards.