13 – North Star Inchgower 11yo, Bourbon Hogshead, 52.5%
Interesting nose of honey, mandarin and menthol. Cold salted butter and Some steely notes.
Palate is consistent with the nose and shows loads of honey and dry spice, salty melted butter on toast. It’s quite hot.
Finish is surprisingly ashy, salty and woody.
14 – North Star Girvan 26yo, Bourbon Barrel, 53.5%
Nose is bounty bars, marshmallow and woody which leads to pine resin, apricot brandy
Palate is initially light, loads of cream and vanilla hits and leads into saltiness and stone fruit.
Finish salty whipped cream, green plants, and some coconut cream
15 – North Star English Whisky Co 11yo, Burgundy Barrel, 49.8%
Very sherry like nose woody, lpg, funky and tannic, honey, heather and medicinal, quite meaty. It promises a lot.
Palate is confused with intense green capsicum, some pepper. Late there is some old tired wine casks, tannin and some positive minerality.
Finish is rubbery
16 – North Star Blended Grain 36yo, Bourbon barrel 52.5%
Nose is crushed ants, butter, and quite bourbon like with notes of vanillin and pancakes. Some lemon balm and cherry strudel adds some real intrigue.
The palate is all toffee and stewed fruits. Some varnish, melted butter and brown sugar. Interesting fatty nuttiness like Brazil nuts.
Finish is great fruit sweetness, salty and clear… and super juicy.
17 – North Star Glenrothes 11yo for ralfy.com 10th Anniversary, Oloroso Butt, 51.4%
Nose is typically sherried Glenrothes that salty boiling caramel thing I really like. Then some prunes and muscat grapes, honey, maraschino cherries.
Palate is super honey, prunes with great minerality. Later there is cold sweet ice tea and apricot jam.
Finish is simple and a bit surprising with river stones and ash.
18 – North Star Caol Ila 9yo, PX Sherry Finish, 51.8%
I found the nose quite exciting with pine, tar and Cheetos and some fruitiness from prunes.
Palate is bushfire with some nice seaside elements like crushed prawn shells and seaweed. Some fruit with prunes again and then with water a wonderful cinnamon sugar donut.
Kicking off for 2020. For reference ^ is half a star.
1 – Glenlossie 22 Years 1997 by Maltbarn no. 117 bourbon cask
Nose is full of apricots and glacé ginger on top of a vanilla pound cake, layers of strawberry jam and hints of juniper.
Palate is dense with whipped cream, spice and salt. Reminds me of Ben Nevis with grassy notes, but was expecting more stone fruit.
Dried muscats and prunes on the finish
2 – Old Pulteney 1983 American & Spanish Oak Casks 46%
Deep and brooding, loads of dried dark fruits like prunes and dates, lifted by orange zest. A clear but not unpleasant metallic and varnish element. With some time liquorice and chocolate. Surprisingly a few hints of watermelon and green plums.
Palate salty butter, sea spray, bitter caramel, tea tannins and almond shells. Quite layered and complex for a 46% whisky. Apple snow with a lick of cream leads to hay and malt.
Finish is lovely notes of tobacco, cream and candied apple.
3 – Craigellachie 2008 10 years by Battlehill, sherry cask finish no. 759000943
Ok super interesting Maggi chicken 2 minute noodles, butterscotch, prunes and wonderfully dusty.
Palate is intense dried prunes and figs. Fino sherry liveliness that lovely maritime and apple note. Slight ashiness.
The finish is long and fills your lungs, rubber, spice and terrariums.
4 – Glendronach 1992 26 years port pipe cask no. 5896 49.3%
Steel, zinc, metallic in the most wonderful way. Nail varnish, cocoa and orange zest, cloves, anise and plastic. Ice coffee mixed with melted butter!!! This nose just keeps giving – prunes and sun warmed plums. This is a glorious nose.
Palate was cooling initially and then really clear black fruit sweetness hits. Some interesting dry bones, black berry vines, nori butter flavours. Finally super nutty – caramelised pecans and walnuts.
Great finish of walnuts cooked in salty brown butter.
**** (mainly for the nose)
5 – Glendronach 2006 13 years Oloroso puncheon cask no. 3359 56.7%
Wow what a nose – cream, caramelised stone fruit, beautiful apricots and peaches, toasted brioche with mascarpone and hot toffee.
Palate has beautiful stone fruit and berries, some great toasty notes. Imagine brioche (again) with tinned pears cream and clove.
Finish is sweet and buttery… berry sweetness mixed with metallic elements not overwhelming at all but long and extremely pleasant.