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To Valhalla and Beyond!

To Valhalla and Beyond!
December 8, 2017 Jackie Teo

A celebration of the Viking’s spirit of adventure presenting Highland Park’s Valkyrie Whiskey in a rustic Nordic Hall.

A slice of Singapore was transformed into the rugged climates and homely halls of Nordic legends, delving into a slice of Orkney history. The keystone holding it all together — the single malt whiskies from the Highland Park and its newest jewel, the Limited Edition Valkyrie. Held at Cargo39 in a raw industrial space, the launch event saw an attendance of over 200 guests, media and influencers who joined in the celebration to mark the special voyage of discovery and exploration into Orkney; home of HigHand Park, the whisky shaped by wild climate and stormy seas.

Upon arrival at the event space, guests were greeted by the facade of the Highland Park distillery, seemingly being transported to Kirkwall, Orkney that is situated in the most northerly part of Scotland.  Mysterious yet inviting, the curious minds and adventurous souls were drawn in by the fairy lights that dotted the different communal zones that exude a sense of enchantment and wonder as guests settle in the sights and sound of the space while waiting to explore the magical taste of the Highland Park.

To draw parallels with the rich tradition and culture of the Viking roots, guests were invited to explore various community activities, including metalwork artistry, to try their hands at Viking crafts and to bring back a symbol of the Highland Park tribe. Metalwork was a core part of Viking life, for their fierce adventures, conquests and way of life that required them to adorn their warriors as well as features of art.

Highland Park Distillery in Orkney is exposed to every element and pounded relentlessly by gale-force winds from every angle, with no trees surviving in Orkney’s harsh conditions, yet the climate is surprisingly temperate, making it perfect for a long, even-paced whisky maturation. Drawing reference to its distinct climate and geology, guests were given the opportunity to recreate the unique Orkney landscape in a moss terrarium and  take home a part of the Viking homeland.

As the guests immersed in the various activities and enjoy the delectable spread of live carving stations, hearty beef roasting and marshmallow toasting corners, Randall Tan, Brand Advocate of Highland Park kicked off the evening with an invitation to bring on stage the Senior Brand Ambassador, Martin Markvardsen, who possess qualities beyond the modern ferocity of ancient Vikings. Through his experience and time at the world famous Craigellachie Hotel’s Quaich Bar, in Speyside, which housed more than “80 different single malts, and having earned the title of “Keeper of the Quaich” and “Master of Malt”; Martin shared unique insights into the Viking influences of the repack of its core expressions as well as the profile of the latest expression, the first of the Viking Legend series — Valkyrie.

With a toast at the end of Martin’s presentation, the guests raised their glasses to an unsuspecting launch segment where the lights dimmed to a building crescendo. With smoke filling the event space, a Valkyrie emerged and stood majestically with a bottle of the latest expression — The Highland Park Valkyrie, evoking the long forgotten tales of the Valkyrie. The first of three in a limited edition Legend series, the unique one— off design pays homage to the goddess Freya’s magical Brisingamen torc (necklace) and it is inspired by two important Nordic sources — a typical Viking pendant from around 300-“00 AD discovered in Uppland, Sweden and the ancient Hammar Stone of Gotland which details the epic journey of the Valkyries that is being depicted with avenging horse—backed angels who combed the battlefields for the bravest of their fallen warriors — in an expressive, story—telling illustration for Highland Park.

“Here, at Highland Park, we honour the spirit of our Viking Ancestors and share their pride, integrity and fierce independence and so we continue to distil our whisky to the same exacting standards introduced in 1″98 by our founder, Magnus Eunson. This whisky dials up more of our smoky notes by incorporating more of our heathery peated malt. This creates a richer, fuller phenolic note that has the balance due to the sweeter, heathery character of our moorland peat but it is a slight departure from our core 12-Year-Old whisky,”  said Martin Markvardsen,  Senior Brand Ambassador of Highland Park.

Guests continued to savour the spirit of the latest expression in merriment and for those who wanted to continue the brand experience back home, they could leave a personal Viking mark in the form of a wax seal in their initial for every bottle of Highland Park Valkyrie that they picked up for the evening.

The HigHand Park Valkyrie Single Malt Scotch Whisky is available at a recommended retail price of S$165.00  (before GST).

Tasting  Notes  of Valkyrie

Appearance: Natural colour. Bright, amber  hue.

Nose: Sharp tang of sweet green apples and ripening lemons.

Palate: A bewitching mix of oriental spices. Predominantly driven by American Oak sherry-seasoned casks and Bourbon casks, the flavour profile is creamy vanilla with spicy, sweet, preserved ginger and lingering smokiness with hints of liquorice.

Finish: Exquisitely balanced, the long and lingering finish delivers waves of warm aromatic smoke and richly ripened fruit.

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