I haven’t tasted the first two, but I got a chance to try the third release of Highland Park’s Valhalla Collection: Freya, a 15 year old single malt whisky. This one was named after the Norse Goddess of Love. Freya the Goddess was sensitive and wise – a valiant protector of human souls. She creates the Northern Lights above Orkney with its magical cloak of feathers.
After tasting this release, I have to admit that Highland Park surely is continuing the tradition of reflecting the character and qualities of the Norse God on the whisky itself. Which apparently, has happened with other Valhalla releases as well.
Highland Park Freya is a 15 year old single malt. 19 000 bottles were produced and unusually for this distillery, all of it was matured in first fill Ex-Bourbon casks. Like with Highland Park Loki, the malt used in Freya was peated with Orkney peat, but the maturation happened mainly at warehouses of the Edrington Group in Glasgow. Apparently the malt was destined to be used for blending vats, but the casks turned out to be too good to let that happen. So Freya was born.
Like the title reveals, this is truly a strong female character. Not only by name, by palate. Strong, but smooth – delicate scents and aftertaste, yet feisty taste. Truly like Imperator Furiosa played by Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road. The movie by the way is stunning, go see it if you haven’t yet. Freya almost manages to rise to the newest Mad Max’s level. We are talking about a great dram here. Even though Highland Park Freya is a nice example of modern day whisky hype. Fortunately, it is without the NAS label so it’s no surprise it tastes good. A 15 year old cask strength whisky by Highland Park has to be good (this coming from a HP fan). Besides, I actually love a good marketing story and especially the packaging of these “Valhallas”.
Tasting video by Highland Park: