Highland Park Odin 16 YO - The Valhalla Collection
Highland Park Odin 16 YO, 55,8 %
Finally the All-Father is here. Odin, the fourth and last installment in the Highland Park Valhalla Collection. The previous installments have been released one per year and include Thor, Loki and Freya.
This is a 'limited edition' of 17000 bottles, which will surely sell out in a very short time. The popularity of The Valhalla Collection has grown by each release, and I see no reason for this trend to stop now, with the final release.
Highland Park Odin 16 YO has been matured in 100% European oak. The casks were a mix of 1st fill and some refill, mostly hogsheads but also some butts.
Highland Park Odin 16 YO will be available to buy in Norway starting Friday March 6, and will sell at NOK 1899 (item number 2124301). It is actually released on the same date in Sweden at SEK 1899 (item number 10420). From what we know only 374 bottles have made their way to Norway, while Sweden will get around 2000 bottles.
Nose (23/25): Fresh citrus dance out of the glass upon the first sniff. Then the second wave hits; restrained and rich sherry notes, freshly cut timber, honey caramel and - slightly surprising - a tiny twig of basil. It is very well balanced, you can drown your nose in this dram and sustain no harm. On subsequent sniffs we also find a vanilla pod and a few stray plums. After a sip or two soft peat notes emerge, and they are very welcome. The delicate smokiness compliments the rich and sweet fruitiness very nicely. Just as I am about to close the book on impressions on the nose I am met with something reminiscent of mint or eucalyptus. This is a dram that keeps developing in the glass. Take your time with this one, let Odin share all his gifts.
Taste (23/25): Definitely plums. Dried fruits and honey. A very nice mouth-coating pepperiness - every single tastebud is tingling in unison. Fun stuff! Lots of other spices are present as well, but the pepper symphony does take the front seat. Ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, soft oakiness. Mint.
Finish (23/25): Rich, warm, runny, heather honey. I love honey! Mixed with the honey we find small taste bombs of citrus and dried fruits, covered with a thin layer of ashes. Peppermint! Long and lingering.
Balance (24/25): What a delightful dram. I am reminded of the finest sherry matured Japanese whiskies with this one - like a top quality, vintage Yamazaki Owner's Cask. Exchange the Japanese exotic spices and acidity with the peppermint and honey here and we're in the same league. A strange comparison, you might think, but this is intended as high praise. I love Japanese whisky, after all.
Sláinte! - Thomas