By Odin, why don't we take a trip to Orkney?


The Drakkar which leads us left early in the morning from the port of Gills Bay, the northernmost point of mainland Scotland and after 2 hours of sailing in waters where I clearly advise you not to fall, landed us on the beach of SCAPA in the middle of heather on Orkney Island. It is after a little walk that we arrive in the town itself.


We take the opportunity to pass by the kings of iodised whisky, SCAPA, and finish our journey in front of the grey briquette building of the HIGHLAND PARK distillery! We are in front of the northernmost distillery in Scotland (and the most Scandinavian one too). For the record, the whiskies produced here (SCAPA and HIGHLAND PARK) were very close to being Scandinavian whiskies, as the island was sold to Scotland in the 15th century. That's why the whiskies of the distillery are Viking whiskies !!!



On the doorstep of the distillery's Warehouse, we stumble upon a real Viking! He doesn't have long hair but he has a tattoo on his arms: MARTIN MARKVARDSEN himself! He has the smile of a Scottish welcome but it is clearly not the style of a person who is refused a drink. 


I take out the flask he gave me during a visit to Paris whisky live and ask him if it would be possible to fill it with Viking legend!


He looks at me and says yep! Well it's true that if you can also taste a couple of little things...

He looks at me with his second line look from a rugby pack and says, come on, I'll give you a taste of VALKYRIE, it's distilled for the brave !


Before tasting it, he introduces it to us: It is the first of the VIKING LEGEND series that the distillery has released since 2017 (with VALKNUT in 2018 and VALFATHER in 2019). Made from a slightly peaty barley (half dried in Orkney heather soil), then aged in different American ex-sherry and ex-bourbon and Spanish ex-sherry oak casks. Strength and fruit. He tells us that it is like the offerings.


Let's see if this whisky is worthy of the souls of the heroes these warrior virgins brought back to Odin's Valhalla.


The liquid flowing from the mysterious black bottle designed by another viking (Jim Lyngvild), but with a very recognizable shape, is of a beautiful gold colour with some brown reflections (peat and sherry).


The first smells that arrive at the nose are quite intense and warm. There is a marked smell of ripe apple but also nutmeg. In a second time, just before going into the glass, the nose receives an offering of chocolate and vanilla, then when it continues its race to get back frankly into the glass it receives that of sweet spices.


It is during the third passage that the aromas of plums emerge from the finish and peat (discreet but pleasant).


In mouth this whisky is frankly spicy. A very fresh entry (clove, ginger, nutmeg) then comes with a woody taste. Then it warms up slightly to lead the heat of a dark chocolate with a hint of smoke and iodine. It finishes with liquorice.


The warmth announced by the nose is followed by a rather surprising but nevertheless pleasant freshness of tasting. It is a real warrior's whisky.


The trace it leaves in the throat is long and again rather warm as a summary of its tasting. First liquorice and then the warmth of chocolate.


Personally for having been able to taste the 3 in a row, this is the one I prefer because it brings out the aromas more than these two successors. Besides, it is the one that Martin made me taste in 3rd grade so as not to alter too much the aromas of the other two! Anyway you have already tried to contradict a 2nd line (even if he has a smile on his face?).