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North Star Spirits Cask Series 005 Whisky Review-Part I

In Part-I, a review of Campbeltown, Macduff and Glentauchers from the North Star Spirits Cask Series 005.

It was about time I reviewed something relatively recent and as luck would have it generous samples of the North Star Spirits Cask Series 005 were kept aside for me by my dear and ever dependable friend Carissa (better known as the from her tasting session. These included the Campbeltown, Macduff and Glentauchers which are reviewed below and the Orkney and Caol Ila which I shall cover in the next part. Thank you Carissa for the samples. Much appreciated!

Those of you who know me are aware that I'm a huge fan of North Star whiskies and the work done by Iain Croucher. You can read more about it here. So let's jump straight to the reviews.

Campbeltown 4 yr old Blended Malt
Campbeltown 4 yr Old Blended Malt


Campbeltown 4yr @ 57%

Wood- Refill Bourbon Hogshead

Distilled Apr'14 |Bottled May'18

Non-chill filtered |Natural colour

Outrun- 726

Colour: White wine

Nose: Hot and spirity. Herbal citrus, a bit fishy and minerally. Almost grain like with a touch of salt. With water the nose improves dramatically. Orange oils, lemon citrus and oak. 

Palate: Hot and prickly initially. Cereal bitter. Again very grain like. Once it settles there is a bit of sweetness and maltiness. Barnyard. The salt continues. With water it follows the nose and gets oily even. Honey and vanilla get pronounced. There is a bit of soot and dustiness on the palate, drying very quickly towards the end.

Finish: Short and sharp. 

Impressions: At just 4 yrs of age and at 57% this toddler does show it's tantrums when tasting neat but it's not feinty and I didn't get any other off notes. Water tames it down for the better and that's to be expected. It has the classic Campbeltown fishy, sooty, salty signature. I wonder if this is Springbank + Glen Scotia? Very interesting.


Macduff 11yr Old Single Malt
Macduff 11yr Old Single Malt


Macduff 11yr @ 55.2%

Wood- Refill Bourbon Hogshead

Distilled Nov'06 |Bottled May'18

Non-chill filtered |Natural colour

Outrun- 240

Colour: Light gold

Nose: Starts off with a metallic note then quickly settles. Creamy, biscuity, dried raisins, lightly fruity with a touch of custard apple.

Palate: Hot. High toned, spicy with that annoying metallic note again. With some time it gets malty. Light roasted coconut. A little herbal and bitter. Water improves the delivery a little. It tames the heat and the spices and pushes the oak forward. But it also brings out the sourness and a hint of aniseed. A bit all over the place actually. Lacks integration.

Finish: Medium with sour herbal notes.

Impressions: This is my first encounter with a Macduff and it's not much to my liking. A tad too simple and unremarkable. 


Glentauchers 11yr Old Single Malt
Glentauchers 11yr Old Single Malt


Glentauchers 11yr @ 58.9%

Wood- Refill Bourbon Hogshead | Finished in a PX sherry cask

Distilled Apr'07 |Bottled May'18

Non-chill filtered |Natural colour

Outrun- 288

Colour: Golden syrup

Nose: Starts a touch prickly then settles into a breakfast bowl of vanilla, oats, raisins and bananas. Gets a lemon tart quality with time and just a tiny suggestion of varnish. Water takes off the edge and makes it a lot creamy and biscuity.

Palate: Hot but not raw. Lovely explosion of spices with cloves and cinnamon. With time vanilla and honey. Sherry influence now evident. A bit of treacle and lightly brewed tea. With water it gets creamy. Nice mouthfeel. Confectionery, mix fruit jam, star anise and a tiny touch of soot. 

Finish: Long with vanilla and a whiff of tobacco. 

Impressions: A lovely characterful malt. Good balance between the casks. The PX influence was subtle at best and did not drown the distillate. I loved the progression on the palate from the spices to the vanilla and finally ending with the sherry notes. Very nice indeed! Unfortunately it's mostly sold out. Worth seeking out at auctions.

All images courtesy@North Star Spirits

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