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North Star Vega 41 Year Old Cask Strength Blended Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml)
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- ABV 46.1%
The third Vega release from indie bottler, North Star is also the oldest to date, distilled way back in 1976. Just 400 bottles weighed in at 46.1% (yes, that's cask strength) with the end result being non chill filtered. These bottlings have garnered quite a following, and are already sold out in the UK. On allocation in Australia so be quick!Other reviews... I just read the label notes for this one more carefully and it is in fact a blend of malts from Speyside and Islay, matured in Spanish and American oak. Oh well, so much for any remnant shreds of logic to this session. But we’ve committed now so may well follow through... Colour: amber. Nose: there is indeed an unequivocal Bunnahabhain-esque fruitiness about this one. Big initial notes of ripe bananas, guava, melon, papaya and some baked apples in custard. There’s also something akin to a mix of aged sweet wines, like Marsala, Sauternes and some old vendange tardive Muscat all sloshed together. Further develops with notes of warm banana bread studded with chopped walnuts and sultanas stewed in old cognac. Pretty awesome juice to be honest, very old whisky that held onto an abundance of freshness and vibrancy all the way from nose to finish. Mouth: wonderfully syrupy in texture. Glistening stewed fruits, more baked apples, mint jelly, lemon peel, dried tarragon and some indeterminate aged herbal liqueurs. Finish: Long, lemony, herbal, jasmine, various aromatic teas and a touch of liquorice and nibbling wood spice. Comments: I find this just totally great and hugely pleasurable old malt whisky that manages to show aspects of old unpeated Islay characteristics next to more typical Speysideyness in perfect and wonderfully entertaining balance. Great work/selection by Mr Croucher and co at North Star spirits, they are doing some terrific stuff there I think. And, not that we score prices, but the price of this was extremely fair if you ask me. Although, checking now it appears to be sold out. Naturally.
92 points - Serge Valentin, whisky-fun.com