Highland Park "Thor" 16 Year Old, Isle of Orkney Single Malt Whisky (750ml) (Elsewhere $1600)
Bottled in a striking carved wooden case, reminiscent of the Viking Long Ships, this year's Valhalla release will certainly not be available long. This small production bottling is highly allocated. From the distillery: "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. 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. 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. The finish thunders on, leaving behind lingering notes of sweet vanilla and an intense spiciness."