Loki was the second release in Highland Park’s Valhalla series, following on the heels of Thor. When word started trickling down the pipeline that these releases were imminent some of us historically-bent, Norse god hailing whisky bums began salivating in anticipation. We knew the prices would be prohibitive, the whisky would be middling (in terms of age statements, not quality, that is) and the outturn would be quite limited. Enough to deter many of the great unwashed, in other words. But c’mon…a cask strength HP packaged up in a mini Viking longship? That’s pretty badass.
Gimmickry and inflated price tag aside, Loki is a really, really good whisky. Quite different than its forerunner Thor, but about par in terms of inherent quality. This one wears its 15 years well, seeming maybe even a little more mature than that, and man…what a palate here. Great late evening malt for nights when the wind is howling and the fire is roaring.
Nose: Floral notes. Spice and tobacco. Some peat and pepper. A little bit of orange, and just the faintest hint of peach. A whiff of very dry smoke and an earthy, organic edge. Beeswax and honey.
Palate: Great delivery. Some peat and smoke arrive early. More of those orange fruit notes here too. Sugar cookies. Poached stone fruit with spice. Lemon and warm honey. A nice smoky linger over great rich fruit notes. Thick and oily. Probably even better on the palate than the nose, and gets fruitier with time.
Thoughts: I recall initially liking Thor more than Loki, but I think I’ve swung back the other way. Let’s not split hairs over scores. Different malts, but we’ll give ’em the same marks.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt