This is the second release in the Valhalla Collection series from Highland Park (previous was Thor last year).
Golden yellow in colour. Great nose, buttery and creamy, with tonnes of stewed summer and winter berry fruit notes along with costal aromas and a definite peaty smoke whiff.
The mouthfeel is light to medium oily, but full and mouth coating. Spices kick in straight away, a really big spicy dram is this big boy, it’s soon tempered a little however by sweet fruity malty notes with a good background of peat and lashings of smoke. Holding it on your tongue for a while allows you to get used to the spices and then wood notes happily come through.
The finish is long and fresh. Smokey peat swirls around and is intertwined with the spices and sweet fruits, it’s a pleasure to drink and has enough complexity to keep you very interested and wanting to go back for more.
A drop of water is not needed really, but when added it helps release even more smoke and fruit notes. The spices are held in check just a touch making the dram that bit smoother and in my mind more enjoyable, the sweet notes seem more in balance, but fizzy sherbet notes continue happily with the sherry notes coming through and you’re left with mossy, earthy peat notes right at the end which stick around for ages. There are large amounts of smoke left in your empty glass, but as always with smoke it eventually recedes and after time your glass smells of normal Highland Park once again.
All in all a rather glorious dram of quality. Is it worth the asking price of around £130 for a 15yo? That’s for you to decide! 😉