Still at Highlander Pub. Still drinking. Wife brought a book. She’s awesome. Pub is too.
Save and heap your hatred and anger upon Loki. He who is father of Hel, Fenrir, Jörmungandr, Nari, and mother of the eight-legged horse Sleipnir. A shapeshifter trickster who helped the gods until he helped end Baldr. Now bound underground by the entrails of his sons, with a Serpent above his head, dripping venom. When the venom hits his head, he writhes in pain and causes earthquakes. When Ragnarök comes, he will escape, and will slay and be slayed by Heimdallr.
Current theories states that Loki was a trickster god, though some theories state he’s closer to a variant of Lucifer. He shows up in quite a few poems, and has been theorized more than any other Norse myth.
Even today we discuss him, with most people thinking of Tom Hiddleston in his role as a villain of the Avengers.
Why do I bring this all up? Because today I’m reviewing another of the Valhalla series from Highland Park. SpecificallyHighland Park Loki.
Each of the whiskies made for this series are designed with the Norse god in mind, as best as they can mimic the general attitudes and mythology.
In this case, they’ve used heavily peated casks as part of the maturation. Part of the idea is that it’s a tricky, subtle dram, with shapeshifting happening as part of it (or at least that’s what they were aiming for).
So, let’s see how this tastes, shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Age: 15 years
Colour: 5Y 8/8
Nose: Pineapple, mango, sawdust, plum jelly, lavender, wood on fire, mace
Quite a different, acidic, and then kinda crazy nose. The peat elements aren’t normal. They are far off, or just the spice, or just the smell of fire.
Lots of different notes here. Kinda mental nose. I can see why they gave it the name they did.
Taste: Marmalade, melon, rosemary, butter, salt, dehydrated strawberries, malt
The flavours here are good, but muted. Far off. I actually asked to see the bottle to see if it was oxidized. Turns out, no, it wasn’t.
The constant changes, the floral aspects, and elements of the peat are gone now. All we have is some guy. Standing there. It’s like an allegory for the old, gender-bending legends to the movie with a pretty, though excellent actor.
Finish: Peach, lime, smoke, sand, grilled cinnamon pineapple, dry
Starts back up at the end, trying to emulate the ideas of the nose. Love the grilled portion, and the smoke kicks up again.
Quite dry at the end, which ties the lot of it all together. Better than the taste. Again, the smoke isn’t a typical peat flavour. Instead it’s distant and just adds some nice touches.
Conclusion: An interesting dram, and probably over hyped due to our societies love of all things Loki, not to mention the cultural impact in total of tricksters on humanity.
Does it live up to the hype? No, not really. Rather it has a bonkers nose that goes all over the place, a lighter taste, and a finish that pulls a lot of it together. I’m not in love with this dram, but I’m certainly not going to bash it either. It sets out to do something crazy, and it does mostly that. I think there are better Highland Parks on the market though in general.
Scotch review #487, Island review #45, Whisky Network review #791