Highland Park Loki Valhalla Collection

Sunday, February 09, 2014

 
Loki is the 2nd instalment in the Highland Park Valhalla Collection and a release that prompted much debate originally and some lets be honest, criticism. Following in the footsteps of Thor is an almighty task and I reckon punters were expecting another baptism of classic Highland Park characteristics. As if something called Loki would be so straightforward.
 
This Loki sample was provided by Highland Park as part of their Twitter tasting evening, which was a wonderful opportunity to taste the trio of releases to date in order of release. If you ever get the opportunity to do this, whether it is at a distillery or tasting night, or even a series of blends from the same range then grasp it. I still find it remarkable that having experienced the Highland Park range at the distillery last year how different each bottling was and age wasn't necessarily the deciding factor. You can read about that experience right here.
 
Living in Scotland I have the wonderful opportunity to tour the islands and I've been slowly circumnavigating these for the past couple of years. In 2013 it was Orkney and some of my most vivid memories regard the local islanders or Orcadians as they like to be known as. Independence is a strong topic in the UK currently and I'm looking forward to 18th September to finally vote and then we can move on. Orcadians apart from their playful sense of humour also consider themselves independent from the mainland and some would prefer to be separate not only from London but also Edinburgh.

Before this turns into a political blog we should get back to Loki. Amongst the ancient history of Orkney, with its standing stones and Scandinavian influences you could envisage the Norse gods being quite at home. Lets get stuck into this deceptive and cheeky fella;
 
Distillery: Highland Park
Distilled: 1998
Bottled: 2013 (15 years)
Strength: 48.7%
Additional: Edition of 21,000 (now sold out)
 
Colour: Golden sunset
Nose: Initially honey then a floral note suggestive of roses before more sweetness with Orkney fudge and Highland heather.
Taste: Satisfying memories of shortbread, ground almonds, marmalade, a touch of lemon and a salty edge before some oak followed by a long dry finish.
 
A surprising dram, more complex than the forceful brute character of Thor and one that throws up some interesting avenues. On the night Loki was the least popular of the trio but that necessarily doesn't mean it is a poor whisky. Rather, it was amongst strong company and its own unique nature is decisive. This is one that offers more depth than Thor and steps away from the definitive Highland Park credentials. For that it has my respect but I wouldn't pay the retail asking price! 

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