Highland Park Thorfinn
Highland Park Thorfinn, NAS, 45,1 %
Back in the spring of 2013 Highland Park Distillery launched The Warrior Series. The three first whiskies in the series came on sale at that time; Einar (Travel Retail), Svein and Harald. In the Autumn of 2013 they then released the last three warriors; Sigurd, Ragnvald and Thorfinn. These whiskies are all NAS (no age statement), but starting from Einar and up to Thorfinn they contain increasingly older component whiskies and also an increasing portion of European oak casks. Where Svein starts out at almost 100 % American oak sherry casks (1st fill and refill), Highland Park Thorfinn is made from whisky matured in 100 % European (Spanish) oak. All sherry casks of course, and for Thorfinn more than 50 % are 1st fill sherry casks.
Not quite sure we haven't gotten around to reviewing more than Harald in this series before, but we will try to remedy that now. Time then to look at Highland Park Thorfinn. All the Warriors are named for actual historical people with connection to Orkney history. Here's what the distillery say about Thorfinn:
The great chief Thorfinn, also known as ‘The Mighty’, was a man of much power and inspiration, at one stage controlling the whole of the Orkney Islands.
After saving the people from the harsh rule inflicted by his brother Einar, Thorfinn is still celebrated for bringing change to the islands.
It appears Highland Park Thorfinn is sold out most places, but a few bottles are still available online at various whisky stores. Prices seem to be around GBP 1700 now!
Nose (24/25): Delicate and soft. There's mild notes of oak here, accompanied by a very soft peatiness. Honey and dried fruits. Camphor and dark chocolate. Delicate spices of the exotic kind. The smell of someone is brewing coffee in the next room, and the whiff of an old, well-polished oak table. Wow!
Taste (23/25): So, so smooth! Everything is soft and so very well integrated here. Fruits and spices mix with delicate notes of peat and honey.
Finish (22/25): Very long finish. Dark chocolate, eucalyptus, camphor, hints of burnt caramel. It does turn slightly oaky and dry towards the end.
Balance (23/25): A stunning dram. It is very pricey, at around € 1000 when it was launched, but I am very happy to have tasted it.
Sláinte! - Thomas