Skip to main content

Highland Park Takes Tailgating to Another Level

When you think of tailgating before the big game, there are certain images that come to mind: grilling next to a giant pickup truck, painting your face with your team colors, making sure that even your underwear has your team logo emblazoned on it, and drunkenly breaking out into chants that you are sure, somewhere deep down inside, will help lead your team to victory that day. That’s all fine, but Highland Park whisky is stepping up the tailgate experience by bringing its Viking heritage (which is imbued in all of its releases) to American football fans via its Ship & Sip experience (Minnesota Viking fans should pay close attention).

The Ship & Sip package will dominate all the Ford F-150s in the stadium parking lot this fall with a customized cedarwood Viking ship decked out with leather interior that you can purchase now for just $117,980 (the price is a reference to the founding of the distillery in 1798). Your chariot … uh, Viking ship … will include the following amenities for a one-of-a-kind tailgating experience:

Related Videos
  • Engraved Gjallarhorn, a mythological Norse horn come to life, that you can blow when your team scores a touchdown.
  • Monogrammed team Viking horns to drink out of.
  • Personal whisky butler to lead you through a pregame tailgate scotch tasting.
  • Private bartender to mix up a bunch of Highland Park cocktails for you and all your friends.
  • Private photographer to document you living out all your football and Viking fantasies (maybe avoid the blood eagle, though).
  • Private security to protect you from the drunken hordes that will surely be gathered around your ship gaping and wanting to climb onboard.
  • 4k high-def resolution screens so you can watch the game from the comfort of your Viking vessel.

With all of those amenities, there’s no way you won’t dominate the parking lot. Just make sure you don’t act like the 1998 Vikings squad, who choked in the playoffs after dominating with a 15-1 regular season record. No one wants to see that happen again. Don’t be Gary Anderson.

Interested parties can email to find out more about purchasing this whisky and Viking fantasy-fueled tailgate experience.

Editors' Recommendations

Seattle’s Copperworks Distilling Drops the Country’s First Salmon-Safe Whiskey
Farmer Nathan in the field holding a bottle of Copperworks Distilling's single malt, salmon-safe whiskey.

Farmer Nathan in the field holding a bottle of Copperworks Distilling's single malt, salmon-safe whiskey. Copperworks Distilling

Whiskey comes in all shapes and forms. In Japan, it’s spelled 'whisky,' in Scotland, it’s Scotch, and in the Pacific Northwest, it’s now salmon-safe. 

Read more
Scotch vs. Whiskey: All You Need To Know
Pouring a glass of whiskey

The first thing you need to understand when we talk about scotches versus whiskey, is that all Scotches are whiskies, though not all whiskies are scotches. If you are learning how to drink whiskey, knowing the difference is fundamental. That’s the easiest way to remember how that works. But why? Well, for starters Scotch is made in Scotland. Also for naming's sake, whiskeys are for American and Irish-made whiskies. Whisky is for Canadian, Japanese, and Scottish whiskies.

Scotch is hugely popular, even though in 2020 the Scotch Whisky Association said the industry “lost a decade of growth” as sales fell 20% due to high tariffs from the U.S. and Europe and the pandemic. Still, the industry exported £3.8 billion, which made up for approximately 75% of Scottish food and beverage exports.

Read more
A Comprehensive Guide to Japanese Whisky Cocktails
Array of Japanese whisky bottles on a counter.

A land famous for sake and shochu, Japan has also become one of the best whisky makers in the world. Although whisky making in Japan is relatively new compared to Scotland and Ireland (places with centuries of whisky history), Japan has made great strides in a short period of time. In 2015, internationally acclaimed Jim Murray's Whisky Bible named Suntory’s Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013 the best whisky in the world. Japanese whiskey brands have even appeared in Hollywood pop culture, most famously in the film Lost in Translation with Bill Murray. For whisky aficionados around the world, Japanese whisky is nearly peerless, responsible for some of the best products in the world.
For such an in-depth topic, an expert is needed. Enter Shigefumi (Shige) Kabashima, the owner and bar director of NR and ROKC (Esquire’s “Best Bars in America 2017” and Thrillist’s “Best Cocktail Bars in America 2018”) in New York. Born and raised in Kyushu, Japan, Kabashima has twenty years of bartending and management experience. He has also taught Japanese bartender-style seminars and has been a consultant for hotels, restaurants, and bars in the United States and abroad. His latest venture is NR, a unique Japanese cocktail and ramen spot in Manhattan's Upper East Side. The design of the distinctive establishment was inspired by the port cities during Japan's Meiji Period (1868-1912). The cocktail program here is extensive, featuring both classic and innovative cocktails, many of them featuring Japanese whisky.

What Makes Japanese Whisky Unique?
Japanese whisky-making is heavily inspired by Scotland (hence the spelling of whisky without the "e" after Scotch whisky). One man is responsible for starting the whisky tradition in Japan — Masataka Taketsuru, a Japanese chemist who arrived in Scotland in 1918. Originally in Scotland to study chemistry, Taketsuru soon became enamored with whisky and eventually brought the tradition back to Japan. Things moved fast and by the 1920s, whisky was already being produced at the commercial level in Japan, centered on the first Japanese whisky distillery in Kyoto.
Similar to Scotch, Japanese whisky also uses a large amount of malted barley. This barley is then mashed, twice distilled, and wood-aged in American oak or Sherry casks. Japanese whisky makers will also use native Mizunara oak, giving the whisky a citrusy and spicy fragrance. Most whisky distilleries in Japan are owned by two companies — Nikka and Suntory. But there is an interesting fact about Japan's whisky industry that makes it unique from other countries. Despite Japan being influenced by Scottish whisky, there is a major divergence in terms of sharing. Unlike Scotland, there is no sharing between Japanese distilleries, forcing each Japanese distillery to self-innovate. This makes it difficult to classify Japanese whisky by any singular style, resulting in a diverse range of flavors ranging from fruity or herbaceous to citrusy or vanilla.
This diversity can be a challenge even for experts. “Since there is such a huge variety these days, I think it is difficult to tell the difference in taste by category. Personally, I like to drink Yamazaki 12y Japanese whisky and Buffalo Trace bourbon,” said Kabashima.

Read more