Highland Park "Valkyrie" Isle of Orkney Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)

SKU #1307825

The Highland Park Valkyrie is the first in a three-part limited edition "Viking Legend" series. This time they're going back to their roots and including a significantly higher portion of their exquisite floor-malted barley. That means you get the unique Orkney peat character that is so rare today. The typical Highland Park has less than 25% of the heavily peated malt, but this new expression boasts at least 50% of the Orkney peated stocks in the blend. In collaboration with Danish designer Jim Lyngvild, whose ancestor was the Earl of Orkney, the packaging is a nod to the history of the Viking soul of the island, which had been in Viking hands for nearly six hundred years before the Scottish annexed it in 1468. And before the influx of Norse settlers, Orkney had been part of the Pictish kingdom. This nod to the history of the island on the outside of the bottle hints at the historical distillate inside. Very well received by critics, this is easily one of the best new releases from HP in a long time. The review from the Ultimate Spirits Challenge: "Elegant and intriguing aromas of freshly baked multigrain bread, smoked salt and tart dried peaches abound on the nose. Powerful in the mouth, the sweet and soft flavors of stone fruit give way to baking spices, vanilla, and smoked bulgur wheat. The finish is lengthy and complex." (99 points EXTRAORDINARY, Ultimate Recommendation.)

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Price: $69.99

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Staff Image By: Andrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/14/2017 | Send Email
Having recently tasted through the lineup of Highland Park I was pleased by how consistently good they remained, having not tasted them in years. Then a week later we received in the new Valkyrie and I was excited to try a brand new expression from them after having so much fun revisiting the others in their line-up. The new Valkyrie in no way disappoints. A rich creamy nose resplendent with almond, vanilla and the smoke of a just started campfire that is just beginning to waft into the air mingle together. A lovely rich and creamy palate has a cooler smoke element with ripe fruits and soft creamy caramels and a dash of baking spice. The heat builds but does not overwhelm as the spice leads the way on the finish.

Staff Image By: David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/13/2017 | Send Email
I'm predisposed to dislike releases like this one. Fancy new bottle, danish design partnership, etc. But, as it turns out this is really well put together new product. An absolutely delicious example of why own floor maltings make better whisky and a reminder of why Highland Park remains one of the highest quality distilleries on the market. Today a tiny percentage of the whisky we drink is produced using barley that is malted at the same distillery. This age old practice of drying barley is extremely expensive and time consuming. Since 95% of all malt is used in blended whisky the cost and consistence advantages of using industrially malted barley are crucial to the success of that industry. But, what you gain in efficiency and consistency you may forfeit in complexity. With the new Valkyrie, they've taken the venerated malt dried with special Orkney peat and unleashed it's potential in a way unseen in modern bottlings of HP. The result is something extremely pleasurable. Matured in a combination of first-fill American oak sherry, bourbon, and Spanish oak sherry butts as well as a selection of refill casks, which regardless of the lack of age statement have been married to create one of the best malts for your dollar available in the store right now. That Orkney peat is so unique, much more underbrush and earthy campfire than the Islay salty brine and the cask selection for this one was clearly excellent. Big nose of sweet fruit, candied citrus, and smoldering chaparral. Creamy rich textured and balanced with the sweet American oak playing perfectly with the smooth smokiness of the Orkney peat. The finish is long and soft and satisfying. A truly fun and somewhat didactic offering that nearly any scotch lover will appreciate.

Staff Image By: Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/11/2017 | Send Email
The nose is reminiscent of the sea breeze blowing hard across the deck of a ship. A raging fire has burnt out on the distant shore. Tart, like the bite of a crisp apple; fresh, and yet sweetly rounded. Stone fruits and pears also blossom on the palate. It’s beautifully golden in color, mellow, and ever so easy to drink. Vanilla and spice abound and lingers for days stitched together seamlessly with a gentle peat. A remarkable feat in the NAS sub-$100 category. Top marks.

Staff Image By: David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/9/2017 | Send Email
Highland Park's new Valkyrie edition, much like its previous releases, is long on viking mythology and short on specifics, but that doesn't mean it doesn't taste good. I did a side by side comparison with the 12 and 18 year this week and felt that—as a middle ground between the two—the whisky holds up quite well for the $70 price. More importantly, it tastes like the best parts of both. While the 12 year is light and fruity, the classic 18 year is remarkedly more sherried. With the Valkyrie, you get the malty, lightly-peated texture of the 12 with some of the rancio, cakebread, and richness of the 18. From what I understand, about half of the barley used in the Valkyrie was peated, which is higher than what's used in the 12 and 18. That extra kick helps to mask any rawness from the whisky's younger components and was clearly a good move. What I appreciate most here is that the Valkyrie delivers its finest work on the nose and the finish, rather than on the mid-palate. These are two elements of whisky appreciation I appreciate more as I get older: how it teases my nostrils and how it comes together as a unit on the back end. There's a robust sherry aroma right out of the bottle, and sweet, concentrated hit of Oloroso richness on the finish that dries out a bit with the smoke, but clearly makes itself known. While Highland Park went heavier on Orkney's viking heritage this time around, they didn't do so at the expense of the whisky.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Malt

Country:

Scotland

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