Highland Park Valkyrie – 45.9% abv
Info: Released earlier in the year. Listed as “a slight departure from our core 12 Year Old whisky” this has had more peated malt used than the regular bottlings, around 50% peated malt. Natural colour. This release replaces Dark Origins but isn’t sherried like that was.
Colour: Fairly light and bright golden yellow.
Nose: Malty with honey heather coal peat tones, not at all costal, but high healthland peat. Behind that it’s a summer fruit cup of slightly ripe citrus fruits with lots of vanilla custard after some air gets to it.
Palate: Nice and thick up front, easy on the palate, with some spices that slowly build. Soon a good earthy yet woody type coal peat comes out just before the more fruity summery malt then hits you. You can hold it on your tongue for a long time enjoying the flavours. There a note of something quite young here, maybe young cask wood or something. A hint of bitterness. After a while plenty of vanilla toffee notes come out to play with the spiced malt.
Finish: The finish is reasonably long, you’d expect that with a peated whisky. However the thing that lasts for me is the cask wood notes and spices.
Thoughts: This is very decent dram; it’s a nice replacement for Dark Origins, and the increased use of peated malt is great, along with the background toffee notes. It appears to be a stepping stone to a 100% peated malt, and I’m really looking forward to that!
Available: The Whisky Exchange – £54.95
Thanks to Highland Park for the sample.