The highly anticipated third installment in Highland Park’s Valhalla series has arrived. Following Thor and Loki is the Norse Goddess of Love, Freya. The whisky makers at Highland Park have continued the Valhalla Collection tradition of reflecting the character traits of the Norse Gods in the whisky. Thor was a powerful hard hitting whisky while Loki was full of mysterious complexity. Freya is known for her great beauty and sexual allure. She rules over the heavenly afterlife field Fólkvangr and receives half of those that die in battle, the other half go to Odin’s hall. Her magical cloak of feathers is believed to create the aurora borealis or Northern Lights. This release is said to be inspired by Freya’s seductiveness and beauty. Freya is a fifteen year old whisky which is bottled at 51.2% ABV. This marks the third release out of four in the Valhalla range. It’s very limited so if you are a fan and manage to find a bottle consider yourself lucky. See this post for in-depth history of Highland Park distillery and a review for last year’s Valhalla release.
Nose: butterscotch, melon, mango, cream soda, lime, nutmeg
Mouth: very fruity, butterscotch, orange peel, lemongrass, pineapple, sultana grapes, white pepper, lemon zest, hint of peat
Finish: chalky, light peat smoke, honey, lemons, milk chocolate, cereal
Verdict: The nose is very bright and bursting with lime, melons, mango and butterscotch. Given time there’s scents of cream soda and nutmeg. This whisky is packed full of flavor in a way that is unlike other whiskies I’ve tried. The palate manages to be wonderfully fruity but also has a veil of peat smoke that envelopes the dram. It’s a zinger up front with loads of white pepper and lemongrass which gives way to pineapples, oranges and sultana grapes. Did i mention that this is fruity? It’s resembles fruit juice in the best possible way. The finish is chalky with light peat smoke and lingering honey and lemon flavors. Later on there are very distinct barley cereal notes. This is the kind of whisky that doesn’t come around every day – it’s unique and delicious. I like the direction the Valhalla series is going and can’t wait until Odin is released.