Whisky Focus - Highland Park Loki 15 Year Old Valhalla Collection

Highland Park Loki 15 Year Old Valhalla Collection

20th March  2013
Highland Park Loki 15 year old the 2nd release in the Valhalla Collection.

Highland Park have announced the release of the second section of its build your own mini Viking long ship kit, just kidding. Highland Park fans will be pleased to hear that Highland Park have announced the release of the second of four limited edition bottlings in The Valhalla Collection.

Highland Park Loki 15 year old takes its name and inspiration from a legendary Nordic god of old and its flavour profile is actually designed around the personality traits of Loki, the god which it is named after.

The Nordic god Loki as some people claim was a God of Fire and was the son of two giants. A shape shifter who appears in the form of a salmon, a mare, a seal and a fly, Loki is traditionally a troublemaker of the highest order. Loki seems a very good name for a very different complex Highland Park and hopefully it is.

I have been told that Loki is unquestionably Highland Park but mirrors the unpredictable, shape shifting Loki character and as with the trickster god of fire himself, all is not as it seems.

I'm told that it has classic traces of sweetness and spice, but it has been matured in both traditional Spanish sherry casks and also some heavily peated casks, giving it a smoky punch, while retaining a light colour. The finish is intriguing and complex. It is a whisky constantly changing, chameleon like, from appearance to finish and the few lucky and expert palates who have savoured it have described it as "enigmatic" and "truly another whisky of the Gods."

Those of you who like every detail of how the whisky came about may be wondering what exactly are these heavily peated peated casks. Highland Park tell me that  they had a small number of casks with spirit which was crafted using non-Orcadian peat, due to issues in obtaining the traditional aromatic peat at the time. So instead of smoking the barley with the Orkney peat, it was instead smoked with peat from the mainland, Caithness to be specific. This peat has an entirely different composition therefore influencing the final spirit in a more defined way than that of the aromatic peat inherent to the Highland Park character. Some of the whisky which went into Loki was matured in these casks which previously held this heavily peated Highland Park.

Gerry Tosh, Highland Park Global Marketing Manager, says, "While everyone will recognise the definite ‘Highland Park-ness’ of this 15 year old single malt, it will be the unexpected and surprisingly smoky dynamics that will really get palates excited and mouths talking. This is unlike any expression that has come before and will beguile and fascinate with its complexity and trickery. Remember, all is not as it seems."

Highland Park Loki, a 15 year old limited edition of 21,000 bottles was bottled at 48.7% abv, comes housed in the same unique Viking long ship wooden frame as Thor and will be available from specialist whisky retailers, RRP of £130.

Highland Park Loki 15 Year Old Tasting Notes

Producer's Tasting Notes:

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.

Taste: 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.

Highland Park Valhalla Collection

Possible future Highland Park Valhalla Collection Releases

The Highland Park Valhalla Collection will be a series of four limited release bottlings. The first release was Highland Park Thor and the second is Highland Park Loki, so what other two Norse God’s are possible candidates to find there way into Highland Park legend? My guess is to watch out for the following future releases in the Highland Park Valhalla Collection:
  • Highland Park Odin
    Leader of the gods and father of Thor. The old English name for Odin is Woden and this is where we get the name Wednesday, from Woden's Day. We wouldn't have known what day it is if it hadn't been for the Norse gods.
  • Highland Park Freya
    Goddess of fertility. If this is released I am not sure it will do anything for your fertility but taken in moderation it could work well as an aphrodisiac, lol.
  • Highland Park Tyr
    God of combat, glory and honour. A carving of Tyr can be found on Hadrian’s Wall, which marked the border between England and Scotland during the Roman rule. Tuesday is named after Tyr (Tiw’s day). Could be a powerful expression packed with layers of Highland Park smoke.
  • Highland Park Baldr
    No Baldr is not the god of receding hair lines. He is one of Odin’s sons, Baldr is the god of innocence, purity, and joy. Of course if you are getting a little thin on top you could try rubbing some in but probably best drinking it besides its well known that whisky will only put hair on your chest not your head.


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