The Valhalla series is Highland Park’s tribute to Norse mythology, this time saluting gods, rather than warriors.
Loki, the trickster shape-shifting god and hammer yielding Thor opened the series. I have yet to get to taste them, and will, of course, review them as soon as I can. My friend Ishai, however, brought me back samples of both Freya and Odin, and I’ll begin with Freya, the Norse goddess of love and war, queen of the Valkyrie and the goddess who lent her name to our very own Friday (yup, Freya Day….). As the series tries to embody one of the god’s most recognizable attributes, with Freya it was love, and the whisky tries to embody the sensuousness of the goddess, with a playful and tempting whisky.
Highland Park Freya, 15 Years Old, Valhalla Collection (51.2% ABV, NCF, NC)
Appearance: Gold, slim legs coming off a necklace holding beads
Nose: Fruity, with vanilla and lemon drops, and the lightest hint of peat. Light tropical fruit with notes of banana, star fruit and papaya. Honey and some dusty dryness on the nose. There’s also a hint of white pepper and a light sour woodsy note.
Palate: Honey and spice, with a hit of black pepper and lemon. Very dry, bitterness and sweetness mix. The bitterness isn’t a citrus bitterness rather one that can’t really be separated from the sweetness.
Linger: Spicy and long, with a layer of sweetness on the tongue and a warmth down the gullet. The mouth is left dry with the pepper present all over it for quite a while, with a smoky tang ever present in the linger.
If you’re into really clean ex bourbon cask matured whisky, you’re in for a treat with this one. Clean as a whistle, fresh and one that hits all the right notes. Beautiful expression, and one which I think succeeded in capturing the allure of Freya! Well done Highland Park….