Next in our North Star Series 005 quintet was a whisky from Campbeltown, which was reviewed by fellow Canadian Paula McGlynn.
Paula McGlynn is a CEO and Founding Director of Gulbadan Talkies and Bharatiya Digital Party (BhaDiPa). BhaDiPa is the pioneer of Marathi digital content, starting with its hit series “Casting Couch with Amey & Nipun” in 2016, and recently revived the Marathi Stand-Up comedy scene, now managing over 15 comic artists. BhaDiPa now has 3 channels under it’s brand, including Bha2Pa (Travel) and Vishay Khol (Politics and Infotainment). BhaDiPa recently received the Zee Talkies Marathi Comedy award for “Best Web Series”, and currently has over 80 million views and over 800K subscribers.
Entrepreneur, producer, actress, script writer… Paula will track down a new whisky experiment from Canada or the US, take an hour off from a film shoot in Goa to pop over to Paul John distillery for a tour (plus collect a coveted bottle of Peated) or drop by WhiskyLive when in South Africa… just because… whisky!
You can also check out her #daarudiscoveries on Instagram at Dev_Paula.
Here is what Paula has to say about the Campbeltown…
North Star Series 005 – Campbeltown, 4 yrs, 57.4%
- Blended Malt (blend of 2 casks) – Distillery Unknown
- Bottled from a refill bourbon hogshead, un-chill filtered, natural colour.
- Item no longer available for purchase
The second in an impressive-looking line up of North Star whiskies was a bit of a surprise – a 4 year old blend, cask-strength bottle (uh-oh) 57.4%!
The Campbeltown immediately drew a few raised eyebrows, and when assigning review-duties to the whisky ladies Carissa warned me to be ‘gentle’ considering its youth.
Upon opening, the first few whiffs led to a few remarks around the table about nail varnish and alcohol fumes… reaffirming our concern that this whisky needed some more time with the wood before bottling.
However, much to everyone’s surprise there started to appear notes of honeycomb, cream, vanilla, and those small, sweet and tart mandarin oranges!
Upon first sip, we were all pleasantly surprised to discover a delightfully light and fruity palate echoing the nose – honey, oranges, ginger, and an orange-maple liqueur quality.
Ending with a mid-length finish (again, a nice surprise), we drew further floral notes of lavender, aromatic bitters, salt, and some lingering orange sweetness.
After sampling a few more whiskies, we returned to this one to find the nose had shifted to a delicious butterscotch, while the palate remained much the same as before.
With a few drops of water, it brought out a lot more hard spices like cloves and ginger, and lost some of the more delicate floral notes. Still, not a bad trade-off depending on your mood!
Campbeltown 4 year (Apr 2014/May 2018) 57%
- Nose: sweet mandarin orange, honeycomb, floral, cream, vanilla, and sprite! (later butterscotch)
- Palate: honey, oranges, spice, ginger, orange-maple liqueur
- Finish: mid-long, bitters, lavender, light sugar-water sweetness, salt, and some lingering orange flavour
The official tasting notes remark on something most of us had never tried… ‘oddfellows aromatic sweeties.’ I did a quick Google and turned up an image of some chalky-looking sweets of mixed colors… I felt it must have been somewhat accurate as mixed fruit, floral, and citrus flavors coming together in a heady-sweet mix from being mixed around in a paper bag. (the image source was named Scottish Retro Sweets)
I really really loved this whisky, not just because it was unique to find such a light summery orange element in a whisky, but the pure surprise element of this depth and complexity coming from a 4-year old whisky. It’s like the underdog story, distilled and bottled… everyone loves it!
North Star’s official tasting notes:
- Nose: Lemon citrus & cut-grass. Oddfellows aromatic sweeties
- Palate: Gingerbread & a lovely clementine
- Finish: Super summer fruit with a touch of sea salt
Carissa asked the folks at North Star for more insight and this is what Ciara Hepburn had to say:
The Campbeltown in Series 005 was a blended malt, and unfortunately they do not give us information as to what the whisky is made up of. I love bringing this bottle to my tastings as there is usually a few dinosaurs in the room that cannot believe this is only a 4 year old!
We couldn’t agree more! It was a hit and great reminder that terrific whisky can be crafted with just a few years.
For those curious what we paid (before it disappeared from online shelves!), this whisky was purchased from Master of Malt in August 2018 for £37.40 / USD 50 / INR 3,600 and was opened in November 2018.
Don’t miss the other Whisky Ladies guest reviews of North Star Series 005 whiskies covering 5 Scottish regions:
Original Group’s North Star Discovery:
Want even more Whisky Lady posts? Follow this blog on: