Highland Park just released its newest whisky, Thor, the first expression in the Valhalla Collection — a range of four unique whiskies taking inspiration from the legendary Nordic gods. In creating Thor, the Orkney-based Scotch whisky maker aged the spirit for 16 years and bottled it at 52.1% alcohol by volume.  The result is a bold and powerful whisky that pays tribute to the Norse god as well as the whisky’s seaside distillery. It’s intensely aromatic and flavorful, but smoke and spice marry gently with softer fruit notes for added complexity.

Highland Park Thor is limited to 23,000 bottles worldwide (and just 1,500 for the U.S. market). It’s housed in a unique wooden frame meant to parallel the design of a traditional Viking ship. So in addition to a tasty dram, it’s also a conversation piece.

Tasting notes courtesy of Highland Park —

Appearance: Rich amber, with an iron ore glow.

Nose: 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.

Palate: 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 flavors swirl around the mouth, some softer, sweeter notes develop, giving Thor an unexpected layer of complexity and depth.

Finish: The finish thunders on, leaving behind lingering notes of sweet vanilla and an intense spiciness.

Find it online for about $200.


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