Highland Park Loki – Valhalla Collection (Official Bottling)

48.7% ABV, £120 for 70cl

Score: 87/100

What they say:

(From Master of Malt)

The second release in Highland Park’s Valhalla Collection following last year’s Thor release. Loki is Thor’s adoptive brother, a mischievous soul, possibly even a shape-shifter and certainly an enigmatic character. Highland Park have sought to create a whisky that matches Loki’s unique personality with this 15 year old single malt. Unusually, some heavily peated casks were used for part of the maturation.

Nose: Salty sea spray jumps out the glass at first before revealing candied orange peel and a more refined version of the balsamic note present in other Highland Parks. Buttery toffee, raisins and oatiness. Or is it actually waxy with hints of ginger? What was that about shape-shifting again? Stewed apples and lemon zest now… and lime… and a little honey…

Palate: A hit of sweet smoke from the peated cask maturation gives way to cinnamon, ginger and increasingly nutmeg with marmalade. Slippery. (No really!)

Finish: Milk chocolate, ginger, a little marzipan before the toasted cloves that Highland Park promise make a late appearance.

Overall: This is a great dram. For the full ‘Loki’ effect I would actually advise not adding water even at 47.8% abv but doing so will reveal yet more notes (aniseed, marzipan, more ginger). The enigmatic nature is certainly good fun if not quite as dramatic as made out.

What I say:

HP_Loki_Glass

The second dram in the #HPSecretTT held on February 7th 2014 was Loki also from the Valhalla Collection.

Colour:

Full gold but with ruby hints (compared to Thor)

Nose:

Roses and butterscotch. This ones much gentler on the nose. Woodland honey and maraschino cherry?

Taste:

Smooth & buttery but with a cayenne zing that builds, subsides to caramel/toffee, stewed red apples and cinnamon

Finish:

Initially peppery but settles into a long drying finish with hints of sherry and peat influences, like smoked leather

Would I buy it:

Loki was a much easier dram to drink than Thor – much less of a fighter, much more smooth and subtle. My wallet was starting to quiver at this stage. Here was a dram that was a little different every time you tried it, revealing deeper and deeper character and an ever-changing mixture of flavours but complimentary and still being smooth and well-combined.