Starting this year our friends at Highland Park are releasing a series of four whiskys called the Valhalla Collection, inspired by the Norse gods. Coming out at a clip of one each year, the first one out of the gate is the big gun: Thor.
This 16-year-old whisky, from Orkney (where all HP hails from), is bottled at a hefty 104.2 proof, so consider that when approaching this spirit head-on.
A fun combination of traditional characteristics and really unique ones, Thor is an enigmatic and exciting little whisky that’s quite a departure from the HP house style. Woody and malty with evergreen, forest floor, and sawdust on the nose, it is a deeper and richer whisky than Highland Park usually is, less sweet and spicy than many of the distillery’s standard bottlings.
The body is very rich, a smoldering whisky that mixes orange and apple fruit, plus some banana, with those wood tones. Massive amounts of heat here. Add water to bring it back to a level easier to pick out the nuances.
Pretty insane packaging, by the by.