The Schtick: “Preparing for battle, Viking warriors believed they could harness the great bear’s mighty power and stamina by wrapping themselves in its skins. These fearless warriors became known as ‘berserkers’, their name derived from the old Norse words ‘ber’ – bear and ‘sekr ‘– skin.
Our island home on Orkney was under Viking rule for over 600 years and their myths and legends have become our own. Intensely smoky with a bold spiciness, SPIRIT OF THE BEAR is inspired by our Viking ancestors’ resilient nature and fierce independence – characteristics that sit at the heart of our whisky making today.
… his men rushed forwards without armour… and were strong as bears… but neither fire nor iron told upon themselves. These were called Berserker.
The Ynglinga Saga, Chapter 6, Of Odin’s Accomplishments” – Highland Park Website
That’s a lot of words to say that this is a NAS release from Highland Park that is available only at Duty Free retailers. Let’s see how it is.
Distiller: Highland Park (Orkney)
Bottler: Highland Park
ABV: 40% ABV
Nose: Honey, confectioners sugar. Some musty grain, bright citrus, faint sweetness. Light smoke, but very faint. Very sweet, very dessert like. Maybe some lemon zest in here.
Taste: Thin mouth feel. No real heat. Sweet cream, honey, lemon zest and faint ashy smoke. Fainy brininess. Overall, it isn’t super bold on the palate.
Finish: Short, no real heat. Some honey, much larger ash presence here, and then it’s gone.
Overall: There is nothing bad about this whiskey, but it’s also not really there, either. Everything is faint, and the finish is almost non-existent. All in all, it’s a faint, young Highland Park, which unfortunately suffers from lack of age and proof.
Thanks for reading!
Other Highland Park Expressions I Have Reviewed:
- Review #881 — Highland Park 26yr Murray McDavid 1989 Banyuls Cask
- Review #757 — Highland Park Loki (Valhalla Collection)
- Review #755 — Highland Park Freya (Valhalla Collection)
- Review #693 — Highland Park 17yr “The Dark”
- Review #633. Gordon MacPhail Highland Park 15yr 1999 Ex-Bourbon
- Review #615. Highland Park Full Volume
- Review #613. Highland Park Odin
- Review #402. Highland Park 25yr Signatory Vintage
- Review #326. Highland Park 28yr Cadenheads
- Review #308. Highland Park Dark Origins
- Review #161. Highland Park 18yr
- Review #32 — Highland Park 12yr