Sometimes whisky can be tough to write about. As a site that likes to dig into the history of distilleries and blenders there are occasions when finding enough information to fill a paragraph never mind a few hundred words can be a struggle.
Take this blended malt from North Star Spirits for example… Here we have an excellent independent bottler founded in 2016, releasing a 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. New bottler + new brand is not a review that writes itself and I really have to express my bitter disappointment at North Star Spirits for making my job harder by being so inconsiderate as to not be significantly older at the time of this review!
Vega is the second brightest star in the northern celestial hemisphere and was our northern pole star long before Polaris held the title, around 12,000 BC to be exact. Crucially (for padding out this article), it will regain the title in the year 13,727, when the Earth has sufficiently tilted on it’s axis. Or something. Maybe by then, North Star Spirits will have amassed some nice history for me to write about…
Of course, the real reason for choosing the name is most likely because it sounds really cool… Or maybe someone at North Star is a fan of Street Fighter II…
In any case, having waffled to what seems a sufficient word count, I should probably move on to the whisky itself…. and what a dram it is. Vega is a blended malt, aged for 23 years in both American and European Oak and was bottled at 51.1% ABV.
*Full Disclosure: North Star Spirit’s provided me with a sample of Vega for review purposes. I have however attempted to remain as impartial as possible. It just so happens that this is a bloody good dram.
Smell: Fruit at first, then Vanilla, a wee touch of Smoke, Butter, Biscuit, Orange and Pepper.
Taste: Touch of Fruit again, then lots of Pepper and Oak, Vanilla and another wee hint of Smoke. Benefits from a couple of drops of water but really doesn’t need much.
Value for Money: When I first saw the price I assumed it was a mistake. Vega may be a blend, but it is 100% malt, aged for 23 years and bottled at cask strength. £50 a bottle is exceptional value.
Score: 46.5 / 50. About the scoring…
A little closed at first but careful addition of water awoke a warming dram of depth and character. A very nice whisky indeed and I can’t wait to see where this brand goes in future.