Meet Thor, the first scotch in Highland Park’s Valhalla Collection. It’s not any kind of an official Marvel movie or Avengers tie-in, obviously. If you’re wondering if I’m permitting myself this review solely because this scotch is named Thor and Thor is currently a very popular comics and movie character, I can truthfully say no, because also 1) Highland Park makes really great scotches 2) I really really love scotch. So I was weak. Shut up.
Let’s start with a few details: Thor comes in the amazing wooden Viking longship frame you see in the upper-right. I didn’t drink the whole bottle before doing this review; they only sent a little, as it’s a limited edition of 23,000 bottles (only 1,500 in the U.S. — a bottle is about $200). Thor is 104 proof and aged 16 wonderful years. If you’re wondering what a Norse god like Thor has to do with scotch — well, you weren’t alone.
But here’s the thing, and you’re going to think I’m crazy — after drinking it, I don’t think this is the scotch of the mythological Thor, but Marvel’s Thor. It’s not necessarily the Thor that wore furs and shouted in Norse and raped everybody, but a Thor that lives in another dimension, wears a cape, and speaks old English for no reason whatsoever. This scotch takes a classic idea and makes it bizarre, unique, and yet somehow still familiar. Let me put it another way: Norse god or no, I can see Marvel’s Thor drinking this scotch. I can definitely see Beta Ray Bill drinking it.
The smell is smooth, earthy and sweet. The taste is likewise smooth, but with smoky hints of vanilla, a touch of honey, and a soft peatiness — but it’s still powerful, with a strong, clear finish with just enough spiciness that one might be tempted to liken to a powerful blow from Mjolnir if one were so inclined. If you think I’m ashamed for writing that, you’re wrong — because that’s seriously the image that comes into my head when I drink it. I can’t help it. And for god’s sake, it comes in a viking longship you can turn into a funeral pyre when the bottle is empty. That’s all I’ve ever wanted to do with a scotch when I was done with it, and I didn’t even know it!
I don’t know how many of you are scotch drinkers, or can afford it, or can even legally drink (if you answered yes to all three, you can purchase Thor here). All I can tell you is that Highland Park’s Thor is an excellent scotch, and I’m not just saying that because I ran FFF today. I can’t recommend it more highly than that.