Highland Park Loki Review

Country: Scotland 
Region: Highland-Island-Orkney
Brand: Highland Park Loki 
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: 15 Years
ABV:  48.7 % 
Date: 16/08/2013

Colour: Light Gold/Amber

Nose: Take your time with the Loki. Sour, Malty and Spicy at first with Green Apples, Balsamic Vinegar, Oat Porridge with a knob of Butter, Aniseed, Salt and Cardamom. A bit later some Oak, Menthol, Citrus Peel, Heather and Mineral tones. Only after 20 minutes or so I get some Fruit like Passion Fruit or Pineapple and hints of Sherry and Tobacco. I had expected much more in this department.

Palate: Quite different from the Nose. Fruity with Grapefruit, Lemon, Orange Peel and Pineapple. But I am also pleasantly surprised by a nice touch of Cigar Smoke. Additionally I get Spices like Nutmeg and Ginger, light Licorice, Nuts, Vanilla and slightly Sour Oak.

Finish: On the short side and a bit Thin but quite tasty with Sugar coated Lemon Peel, Milk Chocolate, Marzipan, Cinnamon, Cloves, light Pepper, Vanilla, Orange Marmalade and a tad of Smoke. Quite Dry eventually.

No need to add Water to the Loki despite the high ABV. The Alcohol is in Harmony with the rest of the flavours and aromas. 

Rating: 84.5

Nose: 20.5 - Taste: 22 - Finish: 21  - Overall: 21

General Remarks: Highland Park, founded in 1798, is the most northerly distillery in Scotland and is located on the Orkney Isles, off the North-East coast of Scotland. Highland Park is one the very few remaining distilleries that malts (at least part of) the Barley on its own malting floor. The distillery uses local Orcadian Peat, that mostly consists of Heather and other Plants. Only a limited amount of the Malt is dried with Peat though. The Loki is the second expression in The Valhalla Collection, the first being Thor. Loki was the trickster God, a very treacherous character in the Nordic mythology who could change his shape and sex. Highland Park Loki mainly matured in traditional American and Spanish Oak casks but some heavily peated casks were used as well. The Loki is very expensive at 200 to 250 US Dollars, is bottled at Cask Strength and comes in a wooden frame inspired by a Viking long-ship. It's very difficult to get as the production was very limited and collectors were quick to grab their chances!

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion: First of all I think it's great that Highland Park managed to match the whisky with the character of Loki. Because Nose and Palate of this Single Malt are two different stories. The Nose is quite disappointing really but on the palate the combination of Fruit and light Smoke works fine for me. The Finish is tasty but on the short side. The Loki is certainly different from the Standard Highland Park bottlings and I enjoyed tasting the sample. But no way I would spend 250 US Dollars on this Single Malt despite the nice packaging and presentation. Even Loki himself would not be able trick me into that! 

Jan van den Ende                                                             August 2013

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