Highland Park has released Valknut, the second expression in its special edition range of single malt inspired by Viking history and mythology.
At 46.8%, Valknut is natural light gold in colour and has notes of toasted vanilla pods, cracked black pepper, oak shavings, cloves, aniseed and aromatic smoke.
On the palate, “sweet, aromatic cloves join forces with tangy hints of aniseed”, followed by an “intensely balanced, bold and courageous” finish, with a “lingering memory of aromatic peat smoke and sweet spices”.
Jason Craig, Highland Park brand director, said: “Valknut is an intensely balanced whisky. It has been matured predominantly in American sherry seasoned oak casks with a slightly higher phenolic level, compared to Valkyrie.
“We’ve also used a small amount of Orkney grown Tartan barley which adds to its smokier edge and lingering sweet, spicy finish.”
The new expression has been created in partnership with Danish designer Jim Lynvgild. Jim’s inspiration came from two important Nordic sources in Gotland, Sweden – the first of the four Stora Hammars stones and the picture stone at Tängelgårda.
Valknut means ‘knot of those killed in battle’ and its symbol of three interlinked triangles is closely associated with the Norse god Odin who guided the spirits of the dead to Valhalla.
Norse mythology tells of the valkyries, Odin’s female servants, who combed the battlefields for the bravest fallen warriors. Vikings who met an honourable death were marked out by the symbol of the valknut and spirited away to Valhalla to join Odin’s mighty army and prepare for Ragnarok, the battle of the end of the world.
Jim said: “The story of the Valknut is compelling and I wanted to ensure that the design feature of this packaging was a fitting match to the whisky created by Master Whisky Maker Gordon Motion.
“Also, as Valknut is part of a series of three expressions, I made sure that there is continuity in style of the packaging – for example, the frieze design at top is consistent in look but the story of the symbol has been brought to the front panel.”
Highland Park Valknut has been launched in over 15 markets with a RSP of £58.00. It will be followed by Valfather in 2019.