A Drink for the Gods

Highland Park, located on the Orkney Islands, was once a favored haunt of the Vikings. Now Scotland’s northernmost distillery is paying tribute to its Nordic heritage with the release of Thor ($199), a 16-year-old, cask-strength single malt. It is the first of Highland Park’s Valhalla Collection, a range of four distinct whiskies, each to be released annually.

It is only fitting that the powerful Norse god Thor, who, it is said, wielded his mighty hammer Mjölnir to hew out the rugged cliffs of Yesnaby on Orkney’s far western shores, should have been chosen to lead this legendary quartet of single malts. At 104.2 proof, Thor comes thundering out of the bottle with unchained alcoholic power. But reflecting the god’s gentler side, the whisky is easily tamed with a wee splash of distilled water, which reveals meaty yet manageable notes of butterscotch, vanilla, and a floral essence from Orkney’s signature peaty smoke.

In keeping with its tradition, Thor single malt comes housed in a wooden display stand shaped like the dragon-outlined prow of a Viking longboat. There are 23,000 bottles worldwide, but only 1,500 are coming into the United States. So those who favor muscular drams had better hurry, before the hammer falls. (www.highlandpark.co.uk)

Read Next Article >>
A new generation of imbibers has flocked to the lighter taste of grain whisky…
Photo by Bob McClenahan
The bottles from the $6 million worth of barrels sold will be available in as soon as one year…
Because it is not aged entirely in new American oak barrels, the whiskey is not technically bourbon…
A limited-edition release from Legacy Brands that gets its name from the Spanish word for “turtle...
Photo by Andrea de Maria
Though banking, land, and vines have occupied Florence’s Frescobaldi family for more than 700 years...
The growing retro-cocktail trend is putting gin back in the spotlight…
corderostudios.com
Jim Clendenen has been preaching the benefits of restraint and balance for decades...
The lots from the private auction become available through the retailers and restaurateurs bidding…
More than 60 exclusive treasures and experiences will cross the block…
Photo by Paul Dimalanta
At the Judgment of Paris in 1976, a bottle of Chardonnay from the Napa Valley’s Chateau Montelena...