I was searching for an opportunity to taste this one for quite a while and I almost gave up, until….. I was surprised by my friends from DH17Slijterij. What did I found in the latest dramset , yes you guessed it right: A Sample of the Highland Park Thor!!! So I was very happy!. I didn’t buy the bottle because of the price and the same feeling I had with de former special range of Saint Magnus and further on : More marketing than a good price/quality ratio. I know this is the second time in a weeks time that I am having some problems with the extreme marketing campaigns of whisky distillers. But stopping nagging about this. The Thor is an 16 year old Highland Park bottled at 52,9% (natural strength) and “limited” (sorry) edition of 21.000 bottles. What I was reading about this expression is that this is quite different than usual. So let us see what this brings me!
While pouring it I am getting the scent of ripe pears, but quickly disappearing for a relative powerful scent of smoke and peat which isn’t usual for the standard OB’s from HP. The first good nosing gives some rubber, doughy but also zesty dark sweetness away. After that it is a good balanced combo of hints of sweet fruits, dried fruits and the usual herbal influence that balances out the peat and smoke (mind you this type of peated smoke differs from the Islay ones, it is gentler, but I can’t explain it good enough I think). The nose is pleasantly rich, deep and still has a nice freshness about it. Excellent!
Slow starting, but then giving you a punch. A combo of the normal HP honeyed, herbal and ginger spiced palate and then kicking you in the face with more black pepper, wood and a nice touch of sweet smokiness. Even some saltiness appears. Still that same freshness as I did get on the nose. Although good the taste isn’t as good as the nose lets you believe. In a way it mellows down and getting softer every next sip.
The finish is quite peppery spicy as with a Talisker and therefore lingering quite long. Peated smokiness disappearing a bit as is the fruitiness. It has a definite spicy finish! After while I am getting some slight wood flavours (some hazelnuts I guess)
Good, but the nose let you believe there is more to it than it is displaying in the next steps of the tasting process. It feels a bit tuned down and disappoints me a bit for this age and certainly its price.
A different dram of HP than the OB’s I tasted so far. And in a way I like this style more than the normal OB’s, but around 150 euro’s for an 16 year HP………. It is just too expensive and that fancy packaging doesn’t work for me. So I am glad that I didn’t buy a bottle, but am very happy that I could taste this one. Without thinking about the price, it will score a solid 86 in my book. If this whisky was marketed around the 75-80 euro’s mark I probably would have bought a bottle (Hint for HP!)