Thor vs the Queen

Highland Park Thor and the Queen

The Discussion: Highland Park Thor and G&M’s Glen Grant 60 years old (Queen’s Diamond Jubilee bottling)

At Edinburgh Whisky Blog, we always tackle the controversial topics. So many discussion points with these whiskies. Are the Royals still relevant? Do 23,000 bottles of Thor count as a limited edition? Will the Queen actually drink this Glen Grant? Does Highland Park go over the top with packaging? But these are obvious questions. I have two slightly less obvious ones on my mind. Who would win in a fight and which whisky is better? Let’s find out…

Big Fight Night

Good evening ladies and gentleman, tonight you are going to see a battle of quite epic improbability! On one side, a mythological Norse God, warrior and hammer bearer, the man, the legend, Thor. On the other side of the ring, a woman of grace, an elder Royal who has quite a scary family and some vicious dogs. Now you would think that Thor would just walk into the ring, strike the Queen in the face with his hammer and that would be that, job done. I think that’s unlikely. She is pretty handy with that handbag, so I reckon she would be on top of Thor lightning quick, beating him with her war weapon (giant bright purse). At the same time, the Corgis (her delightfully regal, but feisty dogs) would be going for Thor, tearing at him. And that’s just the physical attacks. You have to think about the mind games too. Thor would have tears in his eyes from some of the un-PC comments coming from certain people in crowd (not naming names but I believe certain people are inclined to, shall we say, PC faux pas. He may be the Duke of my home city). To be diplomatic, I’m going to suggest the battle would be a draw, so let’s get on to the whisky.

Glen Grant 60yo
Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee (1952-2012)
Gordon & MacPhail
85 bottles
42.3% ABV
£7995 here

Nose: Lemons, oranges, roses, cream, apricot. It is a very complex nose. Quite sweet, chalky and biscuit.

Palate: Lavender, grapey, lemony, a bit chalky. From the nose, I thought it would be too sweet. It’s not. It has more balance. Still quite sweet, but an oakiness begins to power through.

Finish: Oaky and then right at the end, when you think it has disappeared, a fruity burst.

Overall: It’s fascinating to taste such an old whisky. Oaky and fruity in combination. So many layers, flavours and nuances. I just don’t think it would be something I would want to drink all the time. It’s lively for a 60 year old, but there is a little too much oak, minerality and chalkiness for my everyday dram. I also don’t have 8 grand.

Highland Park Thor 16 Year Old
23,000 bottles
52.10% ABV
£120 here

Nose: Heather honey, light bbq smoke, a little meaty. The smoke goes with the oiliness of the Highland Park. Vanilla, pears and creaminess. A really enjoyable smoke. I find I am going back to it over and over.

Palate: Earthy, smoky, fruity. BBQ sauce. It’s a smoky whisky, but very very drinkable. Black Pepper, spices. Frighteningly tasty. It would be 120 pounds well spent, but get ready to buy another bottle, as this is really really good. Not my most eloquent description. I am just enjoying it too much.

Overall: Bloody lovely. Extra smoky, oily, fruity Highland Park at cask strength. It’s supercharged. Buy it.

Thor won, but my, it is close. I tell you what though; I am considering buying the Thor. It’s lovely. Now I just need to find 120 notes. I noticed that some people are getting all hot and bothered because this is part of a series, and the series is going to get rarer and rarer. If you get a chance, try each member of the series in a bar. Buy the bottle you like and are going to drink. If you like them all, then you are unlucky. If you are buying them as a speculator, I have very little sympathy. It’s for drinking people, not keeping and selling.

Chris Hoban

Comments

  1. Hi there,

    “It’s for drinking people, not keeping and selling.”

    I think you are wrong here.

    Personally I have nothing against people from the North be they Norse or others and I know they like a good tale and spinning their yarn and I am all for it that they should enjoy themselves and their customs.
    But I am against the trend that many Northerners living on Islands or in Glens of Tranquility try to sell my their stories for lots of money and as a reward for listening and buying those I get a bottle of whisky.
    Never mind the fancy tray you get to carry Thor. A cardboard box and some 50 Pounds less for a 16yo in cask strength would have done it as well.

    Greetings
    kallaskander

  2. Highland park have brought out some lovely whisky of recent.
    But what on earth does it have to do with Thor? How about a
    proper Scottish Legend instead like Rab C Nesbitt? Is that really too
    much to ask?

    Bruichladdich were playing the same trick with the for ‘some reason
    Valhalla’ whisky. The treacherous numpty’s! Of all the whisky I’ve tasted
    I have never had the nuances of a Norse God. Have you?

  3. Disclaimer: On a serious note, I have seen Thor on DVD and I am thankful that he risked his own life and single handedly stopped the giant ice monsters from murdering Odin, invading earth, and taking over the universe as I’m sure we ALL are.

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