North Star Spirits is yet another independent bottler and was founded by Iain Croucher, but it seems the actual name for the company came as most good ideas do, from his wife ! As with a lot of things in life the birth of this company came about on the back of an opportunity that is just too good to turn down.
Looking through the archives and trying to learn a little more about the company the one thing that jumps out is the passion Iain seems to show, his company like so many other independent bottlers is all about single casks, cask strength bottles with natural colour and NCF.
“North Star focuses its energies on the curiosities, peculiar oddities and obscurities – whisky as it comes, straight from the cask and into a bottle – nae funny business.” this is how they state it on the website which can be found HERE ..
Although I have not tried much from the company I do hear a lot of good things about them, the reputation for quality is growing but as with so many things in life it is hard to get round to trying things from all the indie bottlers. Todays review has come about after a sample swop for curiosity purposes a while back, but alas its taken such a long time to actually get round to sitting down with this sample in order to analyse it properly.
Tennessee whisky – North Star
A while back a number of indie bottlers released a number of single cask bottlings of a Tennessee whisky that we all seem to agree on was from George Dickel rather than Jack Daniels. Why ? well a few clues were given, firstly the spelling of ” Whisky” J D always uses the ” E ” as in whiskey whereas George Dickel always spells it as whisky.. Secondly try finding a indie bottling of J D !
The Cascade Hollow Distillery opened in 1878 and George Dickel was one of the major shareholders, found in Coffee County, the distillery produced a liquid named Geo. A. Dickel’s Cascade Tennessee Whisky which was nicknamed ” Mellow as Moonlight” as George always believed the whisky he produced in the winter months tasted better than that of the warmer summer months.. Using the Lincoln County Process which involves filtering the liquid through Vats of Charcoal, which in this case is made up of sugar maple, Dickel also chill the liquid before filtering, this I assume will make sure more of those fats and oils will be striped when trickling through the charcoal.
2003 – 13 Year Old Tennessee whisky
Distillery.. Unnamed ( Poss George Dickel )
Region.. Tennessee USA
Cask.. Virgin American Oak
Nose.. Plenty of wood spice notes entice you further in, caramel popcorn, buttered corn on the cob, dried fruits and cinnamon buns with a little sweet honey drizzled on top.
Palate.. A sweetness develops along with a charred note like burnt peppers or a burnt edge to the corn on the cob, toffee and bitter chocolate comes through on the back of espresso coffee, a little fresh ginger heat develops with subtle old leather and tobacco notes.
Finish.. Oak and spice lingers
Thoughts.. Having tried a few of the other casks released around the same time as this, I kind of knew I was going to enjoy this, it has a little attitude compared to the typical Bourbons / whiskies we often find released over here in the UK. The added spices along with the charcoal notes certainly gives this a little extra depth and more complexity than the run of the mill releases.. Add to that the extra age and you have some very decent American Whisky / Bourbon single cask liquid to enjoy..
Although this is already long gone I will certainly be looking out for more similar releases in the future !!
With Thanks to Wessex Whisky for the sample swop..