The last North Star we sampled was from the Highlands – Glenturret to be precise.
I will admit when I selected this bottle, I was hugely influenced by how spectucular the LMdW Artist Glenturret 30 year was! This impression was further re-inforced by a positive experience with a port matured Glenturret 14 year mini.
When I first opened it went – woah!? This was no lucious peach confection. It was peat. I paused… and then it clicked! I also had this style of Glenturret – better known as Ruadh Mhor – courtesy of a fabulous evening of Chorlton’s whiskies.
In the past, most Glenturret would go into Famous Grouse. You might come across the occasional independent bottles, however in 2018 it was sold to Glenturret Holding – a joint venture between Lalique Group and Swiss entrepreneur Hansjörg Wyss, from 2020 a new range of official bottling are now available.
I went back to filling up our sample bottles to send to Whisky ladies in Europe, intrigued to explore together. And when we did? Here’s what we found…
Glenturret 8 year (Dec 2010 / Mar 2019) Refill Hogshead 58.3% (North Star 008), 1 of 330 bottles. Price Price with shipping/tax £65.49
- Colour – Golden hay
- Nose – Well hello peat! Barbecue pringles, salted cashew nuts, cured meats, burnt bacon drizzled in maple syrup, a bit of charcoal wood chips.
- Palate – Mmmmm maple bacon… baked apples, chocolate… a nice ‘grown up’ complex sweet peat, oily, think caramelized onions and apple sauce with a nice light gingery spice
- Finish – Long… a subtle smoked bacon tail with a lingering sweetness
- Water – Initially it seemed to dampen it too much, losing the lovely balance between spice, sweet and peat… however it did add another citrusy element – grapefruit.
While the aromas swirled about with cured smoked meats, the peat was more nuanced on the palate… a kind of civilized rounded peat. Just the kind of maple bacon that is hard to resist!
Talk turned to peat. One of our whisky ladies has a clear peat preference. Whereas I have to admit, I have veered away from peat of the last few years. Until now. And I realized it is clearly linked to environment. Living in India in perpetual summer is entirely different than a chilly Germany in November! Whereas this kind of sweet smokey dram is perfection on a cold miserable rainy day.
And what does Ian have to say?
- Nose – Sweet & salted monkey nuts
- Palate – Fine virginia tobacco
- Finish – Medicinal, lemon and burnt orange
What else was part of my North Star latest score?
- Auchroisk 13 year (Feb 2006 / June 2019) Oloroso Sherry Hogshead 51.2% (Series 008)
- Inchgower 11 year (July 2007 / Mar 2019) Refill Hogshead 52.5% (Series 008)
- Fettercairn 12 year (Oct 2006 / Feb 2019) Refill Barrel 57.4% (Series 007)
- Caol Ila 12 year (April 2006 / May 2018) Refill Hogshead 54.6% (Series 005)
As for other Glenturret experiences? By far the most outstanding was the LMdW, however the Chorlton was also a worthy whisky!
- Glenturret 8 year Ruadh Maor 62.5% (Chorlton)
- Glenturret 8 year 57.5% (The Whisky Warehouse No 8)
- Glenturret 10 year 40%
- Glenturret 14 year 54%
- Glenturret 30 year (1987/2018) Hogshead Cask #371 55.3% (LMdW Artist #8)
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