Monday, 20 August 2018

North Star Spirits–some recent bottles

A Glasgow based bottler making a name for itself with some excellent spirits.

Spica Edition 1, 20 years old, 45.2% A-

1000 bottles.

spica-20-year-old-1997-north-star-spirits-whiskyNose - Woodsy, waxy sherry with fountain pen ink and milliput epoxy clay. It's obviously very good but has this funky, wet, sour thing in there which makes me think there has been some understrength very, very old stuff put in here to blend away. It actually smells a bit like an high tech acrylic wall paint.

Body - Brown sugar, soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. Quite hot too; steak sauce and black pepper. That savoury meatiness is quite compelling.

Finish - Long with charred oak and black cherries. Cold wet tea bags at the end.

The nose on this is very special, but it's not backed up by the delivery, which is tasty enough but a bit weird. I would lay money on there being some much older whisky in here, but it says on the bottle it's distilled in 1997 so it can't be.

Vega 41 years old, 46.1% A⊕

November 1976. "A Speyside blended malt with a touch of Islay". 400 bottles, so I'm guessing (rather obviously, at least having tasting it) a cask each of Bunnahabhain and Glenfarclas.

vega-41-year-old-1976-north-star-spirits-whiskyNose - I haven't smelled something this deep, old and waxy for a long time, reminds me of the old ancient Bunnahabhains. The wood is stunning here; tropical oak, wood glue, mango and lychee, lolly sticks.

Body - Very ripe, with black varnished wood and soft liquorice.

Finish - Very long, quite bitter - high alpha hops and chewed liquorice root, Victoria plum and cherry tunes at the end.

This is a nicely put together blend and makes the most of its years, particularly on the nose.  Plenty of structure and fruit in the delivery.

Campbeltown 4 years old, 57% A+

April 2014. It says distilled at undisclosed Campbeltown distilleries, so it can't be just Glen Scotia. 726 bottles, so presumably three bourbon hogsheads.

campbeltown-4-year-old-2014-north-star-spirits-whiskyNose - Fresh, but oaty, with a subdued lemon peat and quite a herbal character. Lemsip, maybe. Some dusty, lightly waxy wood in here. Quite a closed nose.

Body - I was expecting a punch to the face with this for some reason but it is extremely soft and rounded in the arrival. Lots of character though, and there's definitely peat - young, citrussy and astringent but it lands in a pillow of soft fruit and buttercream icing.

Finish - Long and fizzing, this is young Campbeltown at the end - lemon sherbets, Kendal Mint Cake and bonbons.

This is a robust and extremely drinkable young peater. Another very well judged blend and excellent drinking.  And extremely well priced to boot.

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