Highland Park 16 Years Old Thor (52.1%, OB, 2014)
- 52.1% ABV,
- £120 for 70cl
- Score: 85/100
What they say:
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.
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 flavours swirl around the mouth, some softer, sweeter notes develop, giving Thor and unexpected layer of complexity and depth.
Finish: The finish thunders on, leaving behind lingering notes of sweet vanilla and an intense spiciness.
What I say:
Highland park Thor from the warrior series was the first dram in an online tweet tasting (#HPSecretTT). Thor is from Highland Park’s Valhalla Collection celebrating Orkney’s connections with Norse mythology. Tasting notes are based on my first impressions (live) as the tasting progressed.
Floral light and fruity citrus and red fruit – raspberry?, little malty and hints of sherry in the nose too!
Oily toffee and caramel, ginger and honey, cinnamon, nutmeg spices, quite savoury, cloves and stewed fruit- complex and a little feisty.
Woody oak and brown sugar, hints of pencil shavings, quite prolonged and moreish almost nutty with hints of peat smoke
Would I buy it:
This is a real fighter of a dram just like its namesake. Sadly the Valhalla series are all pretty much way way out of my comfortable price range. I would be disappointed with this one (if I had paid for it) as to me it still comes over a little young and feisty despite there being some aged oak and beautiful sherry finished elements incorporated into it. There is something of this that reminds me of the HP 12 YO expression though with that take no prisoners peaty kick. It is hugely enjoyable but wouldn’t tempt my wallet.