9 February 2012

Highland Park Thor "Thank God It's Thorsday"

From an initial glance you could easily be led into thinking that the latest release from Highland Park ‘Thor’ was a tad on the ostentatious sides of things with regards to its appearance.

Almost as if they were following suit of one of those hobby magazines where each month you collect and receive a single part that will eventually allow you to put together and build your own scaled down version of a racing car, jumbo jet or as could be presumed in this case a Viking long ship.

Though I’m very happy to report that they haven’t taken leave of there senses , but are merely paying homage and embracing their Norse heritage and Orcadian roots even further, by releasing the first in a series of four bottlings that have been inspired by the legendary Nordic gods of old.

The nose kicks off with an exploding implosion of ripe forest fruits, ginger nut biscuits, smoked mango and a single rasher of middle back bacon being singed on a beach barbecue.

Swirls of salted butterscotch and stewed prunes make for the next set of sensations, along with sugared fennel fronds, a freshly baked tray of Focaccia bread and something decisively earthy.

The aroma from a quick lift of the lid of a well stocked cigar humidor and something reminiscent of chalky coastal cliffs then help to provide a further level of depth and complexity, as does a subtle suggestion of star anise.

The palate kicks off with a garishly gorgeous ginger ménage a trios of bread, stem and the freshly chopped variety. Followed fairly quickly by a reappearance of those forest fruits that have been escorted arm in arm by a tin of mango puree and the subtlest zings of lemon sherbet.

Baked peaches dusted with cinnamon and an accompanying scoop of peppered vanilla ice cream make for the next set of palatable pleasures, along with a box of Paul A Young’s chocolate salted caramels and an ongoing rough, raucous but highly rewarding offensive of winter spices.

There’s a wood smoke and earthy element to the foundations of the palate, but the longer it’s left to breath in the glass something more oaked and cigar-esque begins to come through.

Infact in its very latter stages there are some very subtle sherry tones that manage to extract themselves from the said emerging oak, helping to contribute to a spiced, smoked and sweet finish that is fabulously feisty, frolicking and full on.