After the recent review of Highland Park’s Thor, I got around to trying the follow up, Loki. I tried at De Whiskykoning‘s autumn tasting a week or so ago and found this trickster god to be tricky indeed!
After Highland Park’s Magnus collection a few years ago they followed that right up with the Valhalla collection with even more elaborate kindling to surround the bottle. In travel retail they came out with vintages a few years ago and that has already moved to the Highland Park Viking Warriors collections.
Apart from the fact that they replaced series ever so quickly, they are also moving towards the viking theme more and more. I’m curious to find out what they have in store after the next two in the Valhalla collection.
Where the Thor was a bourbon matured Highland Park, Loki is drawn from sherry casks. In the case of Highland Park I don’t usually have a preference for bourbon or sherry casks, although the distillery seems to have a clear preference for the more brown variety.
Light and fruity at first, quite subtle. There’s a peatiness present that is typically different from the Islay style of peating. Honey, bees wax, plums and dates.
This is where the tricky part begins. I didn’t know the ABV during the tasting and would have sworn this would be around 56% or so. It turns out it’s only at 48.7%. That is strange in two ways: 1 is that it packs a lot more punch than the average 48% dram, and 2 is that at 15 years old you would expect a lot more ABV to remain in the cask. Anyway, the palate is fairly dry but builds up in flavour quickly. Sweet with oak and pie pastry. The Christmas cake flavours of plums, dates and honey are still present too.
The finish is long with quite a fruity flavour. Some spices here too, cinnamon, clove, I’d say allspice. Christmas cake again.
Where I was no fan of the Thor bottling and found it rather bland and boring, this one is absolutely great. Still ridiculously expensive, mind, but really delicious. The punch it packs is an extra here since it can take some water, and it has lovely fruity flavours that combine well with the slight peatiness and wood scents present.
Highland Park Loki, Valhalla Collection, 15 years old, 48.7%. It’ll set you back € 165 at De Whiskykoning.