Highland Park Releases Its Most Peated Scotch Whisky To Date - The Whiskey Wash

Highland Park Releases Its Most Peated Scotch Whisky To Date

By Nino Marchetti / September 5, 2019

The Highland Park distillery, located in the Orkney Islands region of Scotland, is known for having a style of peated single malt whisky that is slightly different than other regions because its peat is made up primarily of partially decomposed heather. It thus tends to be a bit less smoky compared to that which comes from Islay, for example. Keeping this in mind, take note that Highland Park has released the last offering of its Viking Legend series, also calling this new expression its most peaty whisky to date.

The new Highland Park Valfather, according to those behind it, is named after Odin, the mightiest of the gods from Norse mythology (interestingly, the distillery released a bottling some years back called Odin from its now discontinued Valhalla collection). It is described as being drawn from whisky matured in refill casks and also as having high phenolic levels.

“Valfather and the whiskies in the Viking Legend series uses more of our heavily peated malt,” said Gordon Motion, master whisky maker, Highland Park, in a prepared statement, “making the series more like cousins, rather than a brother or sister to the core range. Overall, this whisky is the richest and smokiest in taste profile compared to the rest of the series and our classic whiskies.

Highland Park Valfather

Highland Park Valfather (image via Highland Park)

“As well as our hallmark aromatic peat smoke, it tastes of creamy vanilla, toasted cedar wood with a long floral aromatic finish offset by notes of crisp apple and sweet fragrant pear.”

The Viking Legend series, noted the distillery, rises in phenolic level throughout the collection and each has its own distinctive taste profile. Valkyrie, the first in the series, uses predominantly European sherry seasoned oak, while Valknut uses American sherry seasoned oak and Orkney’s tartan barley. Inspiration for the packaging design across the series came from the ancient picture stones from Stora Hammars in Gotland, Sweden. The brand has partnered with Danish designer, Jim Lyndvild, to bring the collection to life.

Highland Park Valfather is bottled at 47% ABV and prices at £60, or around $75 USD. You’ll find some official tasting notes below for your consideration.

  • Appearance: Natural colour, bright gold
  • Nose: Crisp apple with sweet fragrant pear
  • Palate: Creamy vanilla crème brulee with toasted cedar wood and warming paprika
  • Finish: Long floral smoke perfectly offset by notes of fresh fruit