When I visited the Ben Nevis whisky bar in Glasgow a few months back, the beautiful releases of young independent bottler North Star directly caught my eye. Shining in jazzy colors, the six bottlings from the company’s kick-off series 001 were almost impossible to miss behind the counter. As I was in the mood for a grain that night, I gave the other five single malts a pass and ordered this punchy Port Dundas instead. I ended up enjoying it so much that I drilled the bar’s co-owner Allan with all kinds of questions about it, all of which he answered with patience, knowledge and friendliness. Thus, I learned for example that Port Dundas had once been a prominent landmark in the city and that many Glaswegians still miss the sight of the distillery’s towering brick chimney in Glasgow’s skyline. At the end of our talk, Allan even suggested to order a full bottle of this kick-ass grain whisky for me – an offer I could hardly refuse. So the next day I popped in on the Ben Nevis again and picked up this vigorous Port Dundas 12yo of which I enjoyed more than just a few mighty fine drams in the time that followed!
Eye: A pallid shade of yellow.
Nose: Very powerful and in-your-face at first. Let the dram breathe for a moment and the punchy alcohol vanishes, while a sugary sweetness comes forth. Now we get to discover caramelized popcorn, crunchy cereals and fluffy candy cotton as well as a good dose of vanilla.
Palate: Able-bodied, muscle-flexing and brimming with liquorice, butterscotch, candy canes and crops. A real heavy-weight of a dram!
Finish: In the course of its lengthy finish, this 12-year-old powerhouse develops an almost rum-like quality and leaves us with a strong but very satisfying burn.
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Region: Scotland (Speyside)
Cask: Bourbon hogshead
Alc. volume: 46%
Bottle size: 0.7 litres
Number of bottles: 318
Price range: ~60.00 Euro
More info: https://www.northstarspirits.com/ (Bottler)