Origin: Orkney Islands (Scozia)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Sherry
Added coloring: No
Owner: The Edrington Group
Average price: € 79.00
Official website: www.highlandparkwhisky.com
After a few months, we return to the Orkney Islands to once again cross the threshold of Scotland’s northernmost distillery, Highland Park, and taste Voyage of the Raven, the NAS whisky (i.e. without official age declaration) that concludes the series of bottlings dedicated to Viking warriors after Einar, Harald, Ragnvald, Sigurd, Svein and Thorfinn.
In Viking mythology, ravens were symbols of victory in battle, a good omen for travel, but above all of loyalty to the supreme Odin, who is said to have carried two of them on his shoulders, Huiginn and Muninn (Thought and Memory), ready to fly from east to west and report any necessary information.
Bottled at 41.3% ABV in its natural colour, Voyage of the Raven, available on the Travel Retail circuit since spring 2018 and now widely available in several online shops, is aged mostly in ex-Sherry first fill casks (i.e. filled for the first time with whisky after hosting the Sherry).
The colour is amber.
On the nose, the usually light herbaceous peat of Highland Park whiskies shows an unusual depth. The profile is immediately dynamic and complex, with a sequence of scents of different intensities alternating in an unpredictable way: a note of rather strong white grapes accompanied by a sprinkling of pepper, also white, a strong impression of dried dates, a few generous teaspoons of brown sugar, a fragrance of baked apple and a hint of walnut. A weaker hint of raspberry in the background. After a few minutes, white chocolate emerges with the determination of a protagonist.
On the palate, the peat supports the white grapes, with pepper to enliven the whole, while aromas that can be traced back to orange peel, walnut and dried dates caress the palate in an ever-changing bittersweet circle, leading to a medium-long spicy finish of dates and wood.
For fans of Highland Park, some novelties and many confirmations. The peaty note is in fact more substantial (but without exaggeration) both on the nose and palate, but the elegance and basic balance are never compromised.
It must be said that the Raven has also brought good luck to this whisky.