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Sometimes whisky can be tough to write about. I really like to dig into the history of distilleries and blenders and whatnot but sometimes there just isn’t enough information to fill a paragraph never mind a few hundred words. First world problems or what?!
Take this blended malt from North Star Spirits for example. Here we have an excellent independent bottler founded in 2016, unveiling the second batch of their delicious spirits and introducing us for the first time to an intriguing new brand of blended malt whiskies by the name of Vega. A new brand from a new bottler is not a subject matter packed with information. I really have to express my bitter disappointment at North Star Spirits for being new. Why couldn’t they do the right thing and be 200 years old so that I had something to write about?
The name Vega incidentally is taken from the second brightest star in the northern celestial hemisphere. It was once our northern pole star, long before Polaris, somewhere around 12,000 BC or thereabouts. Crucially (for the purposes of padding out this article), it will take up the role again in the year 13,727, when the Earth has once again tilted on its axis. Or something. Surely by then, North Star Spirits will have amassed some nice history to write about.
Of course, in all probability, the reason for choosing Vega as the name of this blended malt was because it sounded pretty cool. Though I can’t help but wonder if someone at North Star Spirits is a fan of Street Fighter II.
In any case, having waffled my way to what seems a sufficient word count, I should probably move on to the whisky itself…. and what a whisky it is! Vega is a blended malt, aged for an impressive 23 years in both American and European Oak before being bottled at 51.1% ABV.
*Full Disclosure: North Star Spirits provided me with a sample of Vega for review purposes. I will always strive to remain as impartial as possible. It just so happens that this is a bloody good dram.
Smell: Fruit at first, then Vanilla, a very slight touch of Smoke perhaps, Butter, Biscuit, Orange and Pepper.
Taste: Touch of Fruit again, then lots of Pepper and Oak, Vanilla and another wee hint of what could be smoke. Benefits from a couple of drops of water but really doesn’t need much.
Thoughts: When I first saw the price of this dram I thought it was a mistake. I know some people are still put off when they see the word “blended” on a label but this stuff is 100% malt whisky. It’s been aged for 23 years and bottled at cask strength. And it’ll cost you about £50. It is quite exceptional value for money.
I found the whisky a little closed at first but careful addition of water stirred it to life a little. It shows its age, but not too much and offers a lot of fruity flavour for a 23-year-old dram. An absolute corker from North Star Spirits.