Spica 1989 NSS - Limited Edition No. 2

Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
North Star Spirits (NSS)
Stated Age
29 years old
European & American Oak Barrels
Number of bottles
45.5 % Vol.
700 ml
Added on
02 Apr 2019 9:11 am by Whisky-Maniac-DE
UncoloredNon-chillfilteredCask Strength

Average value

€ 107.48

25 × in wishlist

157 × member ratings

282 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Spica 1989 NSS - Limited Edition No. 2

42 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 86.82 points

  1. Whiskydudes scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    I didn't had the 1997 Spica, I heared from people that one was too grainy; well, the good news is this isn't! North Star nailed it again, this is a great whisky and I can't imagine this will be on the shelf for a long time. I know there are lots of self named experts avoiding blends as some kind of desease, for this one that is a mistake. I'm pretty sure this one will get even better when times goes by, but there is a big sherry cask influence on both nose and palate, but not overpowering. Fortunately it's age gives both nose and palate a somewhat old skool feeling, you can tell you're nipping a respectable aged whisky.
    So, dark fruits, some raisins and vigs, blueberry pie and that hard to discribe old skool feeling on nose. Palate; lot's of the same with a nice peppery mouthfeel. Finish doesn't dissapoint either, long lasting, as one might expect from a 29 yo. North Star either made a choice to have the level of grain minimized, had a grain that was simply great, or a grain that is way older than 29 yo, or they used a grain that matured on ex sherry wood. Anyhow; great stuff!

  2. the_muskox scored this whisky 82 points Expert Senior

    A nice late-fall dram! It’s getting a bit late in the season up here in the frozen Canadian wastes, but a warming, spicy, well-matured whisky is always welcome for me. That’s what this is: it’s almost rum-like in its spice character. The grain component works quite well, and adds some nice sweetness. I might have liked it better if it was a bit more robust and a bit less oaky, but it’s very solid and something I certainly wouldn’t mind sipping on a chilly evening.

    Nose: A bit shy, but fruity and warm. Spiced baked apples, dates, cherries, strawberries, honey, brown sugar, and butterscotch fudge. There’s a distinct mushroomy earthy note, as well as some sweet dusty grain. Some more earthiness emerges as it rests: roasted pumpkin, wet dead leaves, and a hint of fennel. It’s spiced with cinnamon, allspice, and sweet milk chocolate.

    Palate: Warm and spicy. More sherry influence here: rum-soaked dried fruits, brown sugar, and candied nuts. Heavy tobacco, bourbon-soaked oak, and earth in the midddle.
    This needed another full hour of rest to really get going. Now there’s candied orange peel and cocoa powder on the arrival, followed by a warm floral and vanilla sweetness through the middle. The oak, while still present, has mellowed somewhat. Caramelized mushrooms, black pepper, and cinnamon towards the back end.

    Finish: Medium length. Earthy and very lightly smoky. Dark-chocolate-chip banana bread and pears. Cooling mint and herbal tea with lots of honey. Some lingering oak.
    The extra rest brings out lots of sweet cinnamon and toasted cream, as well as sweet corn.

  3. Arquebus scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    The bottle has been open for 3/4 weeks now - just a measure or two each weekend and taking my time - it’s starting to shine! In a line; to me this Spica is about grain whisky and wood, which is providing a perfect vehicle for the malts in the blend. On first opening, the grain whisky dominates the nose as does the oak. I get glue from the grain and damp wood/ bitters from the casks. Later on - the malts start to emerge - but the combination of the three elements ( Wood, grain and malt whiskies) is really where the 29yrs+ start to show off. This is playful dynamic whisky. It develops a ‘perfume’ - difficult to pin down: - polishes, waxes, linseed oil, old leather - all playing hide and seek with the bitter nip of wood, And further in sit sweeter things - vanilla, dark honey, more familiar sherry notes, some fruit ( orchard fruits; pear and peaches - more suggestive perhaps of some bourbon casks?) plus a twist of ephemeral peat smoke, which reminds me of Highland Park. The oak spices sit in bucket loads (like dill oil without the grassy notes or cedar wood pencils in a case) particularly in the arrival, which is sweet at first then becoming savoury, dry and bitter - some walnuts are thrown in for good measure right at the end.

  4. mothers_finest scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    Better than expected… as a non-grainer i think its very nice to drink, and a good one for it’s price!
    • Nose
      86 86
    • Taste
      89 89
    • Finish
      88 88

  5. Danlow scored this whisky 88 points Expert Junior

    A very good whiskey with 88 points. From 90 points the world class starts with me.
    Compared to Glendronach 18 (2019), which I used for comparison, it is clearly inferior. The aromas go in the direction of a dark fruit basket. But there is also a lot of honey and apricots here. Despite its age, it has a very strong, tannin-driven heat. The whiskey doesn't look 29 years old, maybe more like 18 or at best 20.
    Despite all the criticism, the whiskey has a special feature: diluted with water to approx. 40%, you can taste heavy, dark, old oak (European oak) that has been soaked in sherry for a long time. I don't want to miss this experience for the € 80 paid in the offer at the time! You can still spend up to 90-95 € for this without hesitation today.

  6. DharmaDrifter scored this whisky 90 points Member Senior

    Great flavours and body, not extremely complex but easily one of the best blends I have ever had especially for the price. Great cask integration.
    • Nose
      Wine gums, orange cream vanilla, baking spices, cinnamon, ginger, can't notice much grain at all, a little dunnage, sweet grapefruit, leather polish.
    • Taste
      Luscious fruit arrival, candied and dried, strawberry drops, bursts of fruit carried by gentle spice, juicy orange vanilla cream, milk chocolate, light cinnamon, nutmeg, chilies, custard (nearly cheesy).

  7. hs305 scored this whisky 83 points Connoisseur

    [October, 2020] I had this dram during a local community tasting "blends only".

    In my old rating system (ten scales that translate into WB points: 50 - 66 - 75 - 80 - 82,5 - 85 - 87,5 - 90 - 92,5 - 95) I scored it 82,5. My notes state a fruity profile with firm wooden notes and some sulphur on the palate which is bearable (at last), obviously some sherry casks of this batch were treated with sulphur candles. Without the sulphurous off-notes I would score it 87,5.

  8. LDB scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    A drinkable but rather unspectacular blend.
    Still not bad.
    • Nose
      87 87
      Initially a clear glue note, but with a temporal and spatial distance it becomes nice: beeswax chalk, Bavarian block malt and dark yellow fruit compote.
    • Taste
      85 85
      Grandmother's plum rum stew, oily and smooth in the mouth at first - delicious! However, the whole thing is not particularly complex.
    • Finish
      85 85
      Tannins are noticeable in the further development, with white pepper and dried mint.

  9. lincolnimp scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    I really like the nose on this one it smells rich & spicy and it gets even better with a little water.
    Plenty of fruit & spice on the palate also but its a little unbalanced being a little hot for the relatively low abv but I still like it, really tasty but the palate cannot live up to the nose, sadly.
    • Nose
      91 91
    • Taste
      87 87
    • Finish
      86 86

  10. Willum scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      87 87
    • Finish
      88 88


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