A few weeks ago, I introduced the three grain whiskies from North Star Spirits’ recent Series 008 here on my blog. Today, I follow up with the malts. All in all, company owner Iain Croucher bottled four exquisite casks that fall into this category. They are between 8 and 13 years old and come from distilleries that usually fly a little under the radar: Auchroisk, Inchgower, Glenglassaugh and Glenturret. The four whiskies are very different in regard to their character, covering the full array from sweet to earthy to peaty to (uber-)sherried. Feel free to check out my notes below to learn a bit more about them. And if you are up to it, write a comment and tell me which one piques your curiosity the most!
(Single Malt Scotch Whisky • Sherry hhd. • 51.2% • 280 bottles)
Welcome to the funfair! This amazingly sweet Auchroisk 13yo from a sherry-infused hoggie exhales lovely aromas of toffee apples, cotton candy, burnt almonds and crepes with molten Kinderriegel bars inside. The palate is sweet-e-licious, too. But it also has a wonderful fruitiness. Here, I get crisp pears with dark chocolate sauce as well as sugar-coated grapes and delicate cocktail cherries. The toffee apples and the cotton candy make a return as well. Also, the alcohol is very well integrated and the mouthfeel is positively electrifying. The smooth finish is sweet and good. It leaves behind white and yellow wine gums as well as Amerikaner biquits and pureed raspberries. Speyside sweetness at its best!
(Single Malt Scotch Whisky • Hogshead • 52.5% • 321 bottles)
This 11 years old Inchgower opens with a thick, massive bastion of aromas: shortbread, brittle and dried apple chips. But also something earthy: celery, maybe? The palate has a good red-fruit sweetness that is again accomplimented by fascinating veggie notes. The latter remained with me until the end. When gulped down, the whisky produced a radish sharpness and a nutmeg spiciness. Quite surprisingly, these special flavors harmonized very well with the delicate sugar sweetness that was also part of the aftertaste. Nope, folks. This ain’t no ordinary Scotch by any means. But that’s what makes it all the more enjoyable. If you got a curious mind and a taste for the unusual, you will certainly dig this dram!
(Single Malt Scotch Whisky • Px octave• 42.4% • 38 bottles)
Hello darkness, my old friend… I know it is kinda naive to judge a whisky by its shade. But man, has that PX octave done a fine job of handing its color down to the spirit. On to the nose. The first thing that strikes me is the complete lack of sweetness, which is quite unusual for a PX-matured drop. I smell tobacco, leather, spices, fireplace wood and chewy fruits. The initial sip is very creamy. And now the sweetness comes through. There’s an abundance of raisins, plums and berries. A lotta dextrose and purple English wine gums, too. Also something that reminds me of cola-flavored ice pops. After a couple of seconds on the tongue, the full-mouthed whisky goes down the throat like honey. And honey is also one of its most prominent parting gifts alongside sugared fruits, nougat pralines and sweet grapes. Without a doubt: This young Glenglassaugh is truly exceptional. It is matured way beyond its years, it is full of surprises and it is incredibly good. The only downside: the teeny-weeny cask did only give birth to 38 bottles. Well… happy hunting!
(Single Malt Scotch Whisky • Hogshead• 57.1% • 330 bottles)
Young, strong and bulky, this peated Glenturret opens with a nose full of natural yogurt, bacon-wrapped melon, sour dough, lemon juice and cigar puff. A reluctant but noticable freshness lies underneath. The whisky’s body is both meaty and voluminous. It brims with sweet and ashy flavors. I would describe it as vanilla milk, mandarine sorbet and passion fruit enshrouded in a dense smoke cloud. In the course of the lengthy aftertaste, the whisky turns into a sweeter direction with lollipops, butter cookies and burnt vanilla sauce. Plus grassy notes. Glenturret might be a small distillery in regard to their annual output, but they are big when it comes to the quality of their spirit. Need proof? Just take a sip of this great indie release from North Star!
Auchroisk 2006/2019 (Single Malt / Speyside / 13yo / Sherry hhd./ 51.2% / ~70 Euro)
Inchgower 2007/2019 (Single Malt / Speyide/ 11yo / Hogshead / 52.5% / ~60 Euro)
Glenglassaugh 2011/2019 (Single Malt / Highlands / 8yo / PX octave / 42.4% / ~XX Euro)
Glenturret 2010/2019 (Single Malt / Highlands / 8yo / Hogshead / 57.1% / ~55 Euro)
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*** Whisky samples kindly provided by North Star ***
Auchroisk and Inchgower were decent bottles within the Diageo Flora and Fauna series. Quite under rated distilleries.
Will keep an eye out for these ones.
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True that. There’s quite a few distilleries out there that tend to get overlooked despite the fact that they make top-class whisky. Miltonduff’s another one, for example.
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