Highland Park Valknut
Peated Single Malt — Islands, Scotland
Reviewed October 14, 2022
A very generously shared 30 ml from the Oracle @cascode . I felt like a peaty treat this evening and this has been on the wish list to try for some time. The spirit used for this HP features a small portion of Orkney-grown Tartan barley, and was matured predominantly in American oak sherry seasoned casks. Allegedly coming in slightly smokier than standard HPs. Excited to dive in… N: Beautifully gentle vanilla and herbal (thyme? rosemary?) scented smoke are wafted along with raisins and perhaps some malty chocolate and a touch of honey. More gentle than I expected, but a beautifully savoury welcome to the dram. P: This is oily up front and the first thing that hits me is fennel-aniseed and barley. Helped along by a good dose of cinnamon there is some pepper as well to the spices. Dark fruits of raisins and fig and maybe some generic orchard fruit crispness are the sweet rescuers of the spice. I find toffee here similar in depth and lusciousness to the Highland Park 25 actually. When that toffee comes through the pallet softens and rounds out to a creamy fullness and reveals the soft delicate floral orkney peat.. F: Medium. Sweet and spicy smoke, some burnt bbq ends and some bakery spice with a hint of dryness are a wonderful close. Wow. The intensity of this takes things a touch above the standard age offerings of HP. Elements of the 12 and the 25 are there as well as some aspects of what i can remember of the 18 when i had that some time ago. Clearly this speaks to a highly varied choice of barrels. Everything though is turned up a notch and brings things closer to the peat levels of Talisker or even an Islay offering. This is a complex beast, and i do like it. I am a HP fan boy though. I would criticise it to say that in my mind some of the sherry influence is taken down a notch and I’d like it a little bit more balanced between the spice, soft elements of toffee and vanilla, and the sherry fruits. Water does level things out a little but I lose the toffee and the floral note. Personally, no water for me. Great stuff, well worth a try. (Pictured here with a Devonian Old Red Sandstone the same rock that dominates the Orkney Islands and forms the natural aquifers responsible for filtering the water used by the Highland Park distillery.) Distiller whisky taste #92
139.99 AUD per Bottle
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I’m always intrigued by the geology specimens.