Only 17,000 of bottles of this whisky, which is the final release in Highland Park's Valhalla Collection, will ever be released.
Situated just a few miles north of Scotland's mainland, the Orkney archipelago was occupied by a number of different nomadic and belligerent tribes for centuries. In 875, however, the islands were annexed by Norway and settled by the Norse, who began using the archipelago as a base for Viking raids across Europe. In 1468, the islands were pledged by King Christian I of Norway as a dowry to James III of Scotland, and since then, the islands connection with Scotland has been perpetual. Highland Park Distillery is situated in Kirkwall - the capital of the Orkney islands - and was founded in 1798 by Magnus Eunson. The name of the distillery is derived not from the region of Scotland known as The Highlands (the Orkney islands are not a part of The Highlands) but rather from the region known as High Park, where the distillery was founded.
Highland Park Odin is the final of four releases in the Valhalla Collection available from Highland Park Distillery. Odin pays homage to the eponymously named Norse god, the dominant Allfather and King of Asgard known for his furious and intensely complex character. According to the distillery, "Odin is the strongest of all the Norse gods and driven by an unquenchable thirst for wisdom. By sacrificing an eye for a drink from the Well of Wisdom, he earned immeasurable knowledge and insight. With only one eye which blazes like the sun, Odin cuts an ominous figure."
Highland Park Freya Single Malt Whisky is made from lightly peated barley, which is mashed and fermented before being twice distilled through Highland Park's copper-pot stills. Following distillation, the whisky is matured for 16 years in 250 litre hogshead casks which previously housed sherry - the whisky starts in refill sherry casks before being transferred to first fill sherry casks for the final four years of aging. Much like the god it pays homage to, Odin is complex and foreboding, and is housed in a black, battle-worn bottle within a wooden Viking ship. The whisky itself is straw gold in color with an aroma of molasses, sweet cinnamon and raisins. Notes of walnuts, dark chocolate and orange peel appear on the palate over a layer of peat, and lead to a smoky finish with hints plums and gingersnaps.