Highland Park 16 Years Old Odin Valhalla Collection 55,8% NV
|Cask Type||Spanish Sherry Casks & Refill Hogsheads|
|Conditie||In Original Wooden Case|
Courtesy of Highland Park:
Vivid burst of sunlight.
Entirely natural in colour, this whisky is a glowing representation of Odin’s distinct and mighty character.
This intense whisky possesses a fierce spice. Cinnamon bark and nutmeg rise from Odin’s spirit. Behind the spice, toasted walnuts smoulder with pulsating explosions of smoke. Odin cuts an ominous figure and this whisky is no different.
A huge, powerful palate draws on the complexity of Odin’s character. Layers of peat uncover thousands of years of wisdom. Dense oak combines with rich charred walnuts.
Throughout is a subtle sweetness, sharing the knowledge of well-seasoned sherry wines. Plums and soft fruit disappear into the dark as the peaty embers glow into a smoky finale.
Serge Valentin (86)
From a combination of firstfill sherry casks and refill hogsheads. As usual, all this Norse paraphernalia tends to leave us Latins rather cold, but after all, it’s the content that counts. I mean, the bottle's content, not the marketing content.
Colour: deep gold.
Nose: the sherry feels, and comes with some raisins soaked in kirsch as well as touches of gunpowder and nutmeg. Then we find more eau-de-vie-soaked cake (fruitcake with dates and figs), charcoal, burning pipe, struck matches and strong mead, with a fermentary side. It’s a little rough, perhaps, and may lack a bit of the luscious complexity of older sherried Highland Parks. With water: some kind of smoked stout, smoky mustard, walnuts… A wee feintiness, perhaps, but after tne minutes, more biscuits do emerge and it rather gets rounder.
Mouth (neat): rather hot and spicy. Cumin, pepper, bitter oranges, raisins, slivovitz, ginger. Rather gritty, with a slightly acrid smokiness. With water: the spices keep singing (nutmeg, caraway, ginger) and suggest some active oak’s been used. Smoky walnuts and more bitter oranges. Ginger liqueur.
Finish: rather long, peppery, slightly salty/smoky. Bitter oranges again in the aftertaste. Comments: very fine, rather powerful, but not very ‘polished’. The oak’s spices are a tad loud for my taste. Was that Odin’s personality?
Gal Granov (91)
Nose: big sherry notes up front. heaps of deep and sweet dried fruit with quite a bit of dark macerated cherries , a hint of balsamic , a dollop of new leather , berry jam and a bit of sugar. You also get cinnamon spice and a background of gentle smoke. Really well layered and very complex. What a start!
Palate: boom! That’s a big peaty spicy entry. I was not expecting that. It’s huge. He fruitiness comes back after a few seconds : loads of red berries, ripe and jam like. A bit of sulphur here too. Spent matches and brimstone as well as pepper and dark chocolate. More leather and old library books. Toasted oak.
Finish : chocolate. Cherries red fruit covered by smoke. Hints of plum jam and tobacco leaf.
No doubt, for me this is BY FAR the best whisky of the Valhalla collection, It’s just excellent, Big, complex, interesting and full of deep flavours, and a brilliant amount of smoke and peat. truly “Furious” in its way, and highly enjoyable. PR or no PR (and this quite the PR campaign), whether you love the bottle and the ship or you hate the bottle and the ship, you have to admit : This is a brilliant dram. Way to go Highland Park. Period.