Highland Park distillery will release four limited edition single malt whiskies. Each of the whiskies included in the Valhalla Collection is named and inspired by Norse legends and gods. The Orkney islands, where Highland Park is distilled, has a rich Norse history.
The first release in The Valhalla Collection is the Highland Park Thor, named after the Norse god of thunder – famous for his mighty hammer, Mjollnir. Highland Park Thor has a natural strength like its namesake, drawing influence from the environment unique to Orkney, to create a truly elemental spirit. Distilled where sea turns to ocean, this 16 year-old single malt is a meeting point of nature’s forces, exuding a dynamic and bold character on the surface, but with an unexpected softer side at its heart.
Bottled at a robust 52.1% abv this limited edition whisky comes housed in a unique wooden frame, which echoes the fearsome contours of a traditional Viking long ship.
Nose: Concentrated and forceful, with an explosion of aromatic smoke, pungent fresh ginger, antique copper, stewed plums, and golden syrup. With water, earthy notes emerge, like a garden after a heavy rain shower.
Palate: Thor’s high strength grabs the palate and refuses to let go. Initially dry, with fiery gingerbread then vanilla, blackberries, fresh mango, peach and hints of cinnamon. As its big flavours swirl around the mouth, some softer, sweeter notes develop, giving Thor and unexpected layer of complexity and depth.
Finish:The finish thunders on, leaving behind lingering notes of sweet vanilla and an intense spiciness.
The makeup of Loki was conceived around the same time as last year’s Thor and acts as a companion for its stablemate, matching Thor’s straight out boisterousness with something a little more subtle and, potentially, insidious.
One of the most complex characters in Norse mythology, Loki constantly challenges the gods, questioning their order and hierarchy within Asgard. Yet with every treacherous situation he engineers, his actions ultimately create heroes amongst the other gods.
Like its namesake, this whisky is unpredictable and impulsive, echoing the formidable weather of the Orkney Islands. It is a single malt which is both dynamic and energetic, with constantly evolving flavours and a fiendish inner complexity.
Nose: A spirited lift of dried bitter orange, which quickly turns into lemon peels. Cardamom notes trick then tease the nose, before an enticing hit of gingerbread develops. With water, liquorice and aromatic smoke are both unleashed.
Palate: The true shape‐shifting ability of Loki springs to life on the palate: its waxy texture is amplified by an intense smoke that doesn't appear on the nose, shattering the light citrusy illusion of the aroma. All is not what it seems. The smoke fades as liquorice and rich spiced apple flavours come out to play. Lemon and grapefruit are consistent throughout this elusive, yet intriguing character. With a touch of water, lingering notes of melted dark chocolate over spent embers leave a soft smoky impression.
Finish: As Loki departs, he leaves behind toasted cloves, hickory smoke and soft vanilla. It is constantly changing, from appearance to finish. Loki is an enigma and truly another whisky of the gods.
For the third release in the acclaimed Valhalla Collection, Highland Park has turned its attention to the mesmerising Norse Goddess of Love, Freya.
Continuing the tradition of reflecting the character and qualities of the Norse Gods in the whisky itself, Freya’s intriguing allure and feisty personality has inspired a full, rich and complex single malt with a lingering beguiling finish.
Nose: Almond and Madagascan vanilla. White chocolate followed by candied cherries makes way for a vibrant wave of mango and melon, riding upon a cloud of cream soda.
Palate: Orange peel, butterscotch and rose petals provide the sweetness along with orange blossom and ginger. Lively popping candy, lemongrass and tropical fruits are lightly shrouded in peat smoke.
Finish: Complex and beautiful, the finish gives lingering spice and soft peat smoke intertwined with soft orchard fruits, toasted coconut and a light char, providing a rounded depth and allowing this whisky to soar.