Independent bottler North Star Spirits have only been operating since 2016, but the company founded by former AD Rattray ambassador Iain Croucher has already built up a nice reputation.
The blended malt Vega 40 Years was the second Vega, after a 23 year-old expression. It was distilled in October 1977 and matured in a combination of Spanish and American oak before being bottled at cask strength in January 2018.
We won’t try to guess the provenance, but remember we saw quite a few ‘malt bases’ in the past few years, basically different combinations of Tamdhu, Glenrothes, Macallan and other Edrington distilleries.
Vega 40 yo 1977 (43,1%, North Star Spirits 2018, blended malt n°2, 400 btl.)
Nose: a classic, rather temperate sherry profile. Stewed fruits, hints of sour raspberry, blackberries and raisins. Walnuts and chocolate. Hints of an old bodega. Nice tobacco notes and humidors. Leather bound books. Whiffs of coffee beans as well. Quite succulent.
Mouth: not the most powerful attack, but really, really good. Red berries, dried apricots, lots of nutty notes (almonds, hazelnuts) and espresso. Nice mint and citrus freshness (orange peel, lime) bringing it close to cognac. Milk chocolate and cinnamon. There’s some old polished wood involved but it’s neither bitter, nor woody.
Finish: medium length, with hints of tangerines, chocolate, walnuts and tobacco leaves.
An excellent vatting with a lovely balanced sherry influence. Very flavoursome and surprisingly little wood. At just € 140-160 this was basically a steal. Sold out but you can still buy a sample from TWE.