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Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Sirius 31 year old 1988 blended malt, North Star Spirits

North Star Spirits Week continues. The 11 year old Caol Ila was terrific, while the 20 year old Clynelish was hard to get a handle on, just beyond reach, slipping beyond my grasp. And so on.

Today it's a 31 year old blended malt, distilled in 1988. I'm unsure of its ingredients, but with its large outturn and 43.1%abv cask strength, Sirius likely included a number of casks that had dropped below the legal strength. That's not a problem as long as the whisky tastes good and the price is under €200. The latter was true. Time to check out the former.

This is Sirius.
Company: North Star
Range: Cask Series 009
Type: Blended (or Vatted) Malt
Distilleries: in Scotland
Age: 31 years (1988-2019)
Maturation: first fill bourbon barrels
Outturn: 3,582 700mL bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 43.1%
Chillfiltered? No
Color added? No
(from a bottle split)


Immediately, the nose brings to mind milk chocolate bubbling in a double boiler. Then cassis and Good 'n Plenty candies. Hay and charred corn drift through the background. It gets fruiter with time, gaining nectarines, honeydew, creamsicles and roses. Something slightly meaty too.

The palate first registers medicinal with toasted oak spices around the sides. But then it goes to dessert. Vanilla ice cream, peaches, plums and yuzu candy. Very gentle, though, so I won't add water.

It finishes with lots of honey, peaches and bitter lemon soda.


Sirius would be a great casual sipper, and I do mean casual. That's no sin, but if its ABV went any lower the palate and finish would vaporize. Frankly, it's more like ...... Canis Minor.  *wink*

When I tasted this whisky, I thought it was a blend of refill sherry casks, specifically due to the nose notes but, alas, first fill American oak barrels were its homes for more than three decades. In any case, I really like the style. Sadly we can't expect a matching sequel batch at a higher strength, but perhaps another North Star blended malt...

Availability - It might still exist in Europe, or the night sky
Pricing - less than €200
Rating - 87

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