The Highland Park Valkyrie 45.9 nose opens with a butterscotch sucker in the shape of a miniature butternut squash that was made from buttermilk by the butterfaced* third daughter of the exuberantly mustachioed butter-complexioned village candy store shopkeep. It is as if John fell asleep in the hemp hammock hanging in his backyard, only to find that impish raccoons, using their tiny human-like hands that smell of slippery elm leaves, encased him in willow branches and wax that was painstakingly collected from burnt-down stubs of votive candles. It is youthful and fun, like a just cleaned, very low chlorine-level, wading pool for toddlers. I found a redwood hottub filled with deionized water, rubber duckies, and my sadly inadequate scuba gear. Stephen found nectar from the fat-thumbed cactus (Cacticus Tom Robbinsus).
The mouth is svelte, like a the media-(mis)informed fantasies of 15yo boy living in Brooklyn in 1955. It’s subtle, elusive, and allusive; a trio of qualities that I wouldn’t normally associate with youth and No Age Statement whiskies. We found pastille-sized memory foam pillows and plump, marshmallowy velvet pillows: a harem decorated by Laura Ashley. There’s an overwhelming sense that the Valkyrie is in estrus, and that’s a terrifying thought for heroes who never fancied fated-liaisons with demigods. We were convinced also that we were finding lamb’s ear ivy slow-compressed into peat over long years. (What do the good people at Highland Park know about their peat, with their silly claims that their peat finds its uniqueness the fact that it’s primarily composed of heather?) We also got corn and asparagus tikka masala, which we know does not exist, but probably it should.
The finish was rife with orange and apricot belts made from fruit leather, sported by a wide variety of hipsters in Brooklyn, circa 2015, along with their Warby Parkers, whose frames were made from curated wood daringly harvested—in the middle of the night—from Amish barns. We found also a bass tuning fork, made from copper and carbon fiber, vibrating away inside of the recently-cleaned smoke-chute of a mobile bbq food truck operated by the infamous pitmasters Ma and Pa Porkbark. Peat chips give their baby back ribs their famous piquancy.
–On the scale of swerves about to happen, although it’d be a no-brainer to simply pull out a Wagner/Ring Cycle/Brünnhilde (derived from ‘Brynhildr’) rating, I’m going a different direction–
On the scale of minor, yet memorable, characters in J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, the Highland Park Valkryie 45.9 is Barliman Butterbur–He’s a kindly, good-hearted innkeeper who brews the best beer in the village of Bree and offers service with a smile to all manner of living beings who stop in for a hot meal, or a hearty quaff, or a cozy room, or a compelling song, or a funny story. Very different, we know, than Valkyries—or Kyrie Irving—but would you rather be plucked dead from a battlefield and whisked off to fields of warriors, or would you rather eat, drink, and revel with fine folk and while the night away? I know which I’m choosing.
–Our thanks to Highland Park for the sample!