Vega 1985 33 Year Old North Star 49.4%

This is blended malt from 1985. 400 bottles were produced originally and bottled at 46.2%, but this is a special batch of stock bottled at 49.4% and all 36 bottles were secured by Royal Mile Whiskies at this special strength.


Appearance: Coke brown with a red hue, one of the darkest whiskies I’ve seen. Like shiny gravy! A quick swirl creates a beaded tide mark, many thick legs differing in length and a viscous coating on the glass.

Nose: Big on the ABV. It’s a challenging nose and not one that endears itself.
There’s an immediate asphalt, wet earth and splintered oak.
Hot cross buns and sulphur. Not the usual wispy sulphur note, similar to a struck match though, this is deep and rich, like it’s solidified and concentrated.
A pine freshness, maybe even rosemary lingers in the mix of flavours.

Palate: A lovely luxurious mouthfeel. Barrel char, that sulphur element, Christmas spices, chilli, black pepper, dark fruits and some dryness.

Finish: Medium in length black pepper, sulphur and the dark fruits all linger on the palate. A chilli tingle adds a nice dimension to the finish too.

Overall: I’m not a fan of sulphuric whisky, but, apparently, that’s because there wasn’t enough. Bang a shedload into a dram and it had the opposite effect! Banger of a dram.

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