About this blog:

This blog will feature tasting notes, reviews, distillery visits and whisky news with focus mainly on Scottish single malts. This will sometimes be accompanied by politically incorrect (whisky) opinions. You have now been warned! :-)
The views expressed here are entirely my own, unless otherwise stated.

Thursday, 19 February 2015


If you've ended up here you're probably already following The Malt desk on either Twitter (@TheMaltDesk) or via my Facebook page. You've probably also come across the use of the hash tag # and if you've been following Highland Park Distillery lately you will certainly have come across #ODIN100

The #ODIN100-tag was put into use by Highland Park to mark 100 days to the launch of the of the final whisky in their Valhalla-series and, of course, also to help Highland Park fans follow future posts counting down to the release of the final whisky in the series - the Odin

The Highland Park Odin - picture courtesy of Edrington

Officially launched on the 16th of February, the Odin sold out from the both the distillery and major online retailers in the UK in a flash - some reporting their stock being gone as fast as 15mins, so as with its predecessors, the Thor, Loki and Freya, the punters again gave each other a run for their money.

The complete Valhalla series, February 17th 2015 © The Malt Desk

The first official tasting did not take place until the 17th February though, and events were held both in Sweden and in the UK and just under a dozen of us were invited to an exclusive afternoon session in Stockholm under the guidance of Senior Brand Ambassador Martin Markvardsen and by attending this event, I'm in the very lucky position to have be present at the launch of all 4 of whiskies in this series when they were released in Sweden and Denmark... so all in all a very nice recap for me :-)

After reading the official tasting notes on the Odin I quickly spotted the heavier influence of sherry casks than in the previous releases. This certainly upped my expectations... and as the previous releases very much tropical fruit/citrus driven - this certainly sounded like a darker and heavier profile to me of Odin's and his ravens.

The setting is tasteful as always, February 17th 2015  © The Malt Desk

We started, though, with a revisit to the previous whiskies in the Valhalla series, the Thor, Loki and Freya - all very nice whiskies and a natural build-up to the Odin, which, according to Martin was the hardest to put together for the Highland Park whiskymaker Max Mcfarlane as the Odin should be the Allfather of the Gods, big and powerful and at the same time not resembling any of the previous releases... So, did Max succeed?

Martin Markvardsen presenting the Odin, February 17th 2015 © The Malt Desk

Highland Park 'Odin' 16yo 55,8%, 17000 bottles, Distillery bottling

Matured mainly, but not exclusively, in Spanish oak sherry casks

Colour is amber

Big, spicy and powerful! Highland Park certainly got this right! There's a distinct smoky edge covered in sherry and dried fruit notes, but the main theme is spice!

Peppery, nutmeg and cloves, strong cinnamon like in some oriental dishes, eucalyptus and candied orange and a slight burnt edge, like toasted oak and sugars along with lots of smoke from wet firewood. The whole thing is delivered by a healthy abv of 55,8% ensuring that the notes reaches your olfactory system in full force

Odin certainly lets everyone know when he enters the Great Hall...

Again the spiciness is big! It has just a slight dirtiness to it which really gives it some backbone. There's dark chocolate, cappuccino, plums, tobacco leaves, ash, dark honey, Quality Street Orange sweets, quite some nutmeg, bbq wood chips and a refreshing gingery tang on the finish. Add to this an all present peatyness...

This is the 18yo Highland Park x10 on everything + added spiciness

This is big whisky and a very fitting end to the Valhalla series!
That said, I'm thinking some may find this just a bit of a brute, although I don't...

Anyway, it's one of, if not, the best of the series, IMO... but I'm really splitting hairs here when comparing with the Thor and Loki which I liked a lot. I'm down to the best being dependent on which mood you're in...


Thanks to Edrington DK and Holm & Bertung for invitation to the event

Finally, if you're interested in how Odin compares to the other whiskies in the Valhalla series, you can find my notes on here by clicking the name-links in italic the Thor, the Loki and the Freya...

1 comment:

  1. Good as they may be, I just can't get over the cheesy packaging