A new Independent bottler North Star Spirits founded by Iain Croucher has very quickly established itself as a serious player in the crowded indie whisky market.
Iain Croucher is a magician! What he has been able to do with North Star in such a relatively short period of time in terms of appeal and critical acclaim is no mean feat. North Star Spirits is a Glasgow based independent bottler of the finest whiskies, bourbons, gins and rums. Though the focus is more on whisky. All the whiskies released are at cask strength,of natural colour and without any chill-filtering. Not only does Iain pick exceptional casks he also has a keen sense of design. North Star labels are stunning to say the least! Let's face it, packaging matters a little as well. There is decent amount of information on the labels about the contents. North Star is also involved in charitable work. So far all very good. Prior to North Star Iain was the brand ambassador for A.D.Rattray a famous independent whisky company.
"With each series of bottlings, as you say, I make sure there is something for everyone’s taste and budget. It doesn’t have to be a single malt – just unique and delicious; that is paramount"Iain Croucher from an interview to Barleymania.
What I like about North Star is that they have something for everyone's palate and wallet. The latter being a rarity these days with the kind of shameless thuggery inflicted on us by disingenuous marketing for piss poor juice. With the first series released in 2016, North Star has launched a further four up until May this year. Their limited edition Vega blended malt bottling (23yrs/40yrs/41yrs) created such a frenzy in terms of demand the likes of which I haven't seen for a blended malt in recent times. With very limited allotments to retailers, bottles were getting sold out in seconds! So for those of you who have managed to get their hands on the Vega, consider yourselves very very lucky. North Star has also released a fortified wine with a twist, Montilla PX from Spain which was further matured for two years in Islay & Speyside casks.
Already the Vega bottles have started to appear on auction sites. A sad but inevitable destination for all such bottles. For series 005 Iain has introduced a new line of blended scotch called Spica. Aged for 20yrs at cask strength and natural presentation it is was affordably priced at £45. This too has mostly sold out. Will we see older versions of the Spica in the future? Recently Iain posted on Instagram a picture of a dozen unlabelled bottles to be a part of series 006. So watch out for the announcement on their Facebook and Instagram page.
In the next three posts I will review the following North Star whiskies: