Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Blended Malt
North Star Spirits (NSS)
Bottling serie
Cask Series 009
Stated Age
31 years old
First Fill Bourbon Barrels
Number of bottles
43.1 % Vol.
700 ml
Added on
11 Oct 2019 10:48 am by TSoM
UncoloredNon-chillfilteredCask Strength

Average value

€ 162.90

78 × in wishlist

220 × member ratings

409 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Sirius 1988 NSS

63 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 88.43 points

  1. markjedi1 scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    Mango, Melon & Mint

    Next to the popular Vega, a blended malt of which 6 editions have been released so far; and Spica, a blend of which two expressions have hit the market; North Star Spirits now surprises us with the brand new Sirius. To make a grand entrance, Iain launched this series with a 31 Year Old blended malt, of which all components were distilled in 1988, the year in which yours truly got his driving license. Just trying to make it clear that this is old stuff. The difference with Vega, you ask? I presume the region where the malts came from. Ask me again after I have tried it.
    Ooh, want a grand nose indeed! Old furniture, coconut milk, varnish, cloves and cinnamon, but mostly orange citrus fruit. I mean pomelo, blood oranges, mandarin, but also pink grapefruit, peel included! This is upholstered with a floral note (magnolia?) and vanilla. Candy-like, but very good. Give it some time in the glass and it will improve. Bittersweet and delicious.
    On the palate, it is almost syrupy and deliciously sweet, while the citrus fruit stays in the lead. A lot more shines through: vanilla, elderberries, grain cookies and dried fruit, honey melon, citric acid candy and Fanta Orange on steroids. But it is dangerously quaffable.

    The finish is fantastic and after an initial light bitterness, it suddenly turns a bit tropical. Mango, melon and mint at the death.

    Impressive. And if I had to guess, I’d say the Vega was all about Speyside, while this Sirius is Highland. Prove me wrong.

  2. LDB scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    Very unique! Anyone who can cope with the pronounced orange aromas including peel and the slight tannin bitterness has an extremely delicious blended malt in front of you, which only really unfolds in the glass after a while.
    • Nose
      89 89
      Resin-like older wood, orange curd, the drawer of a pre-war secretary, linseed oil varnish, Christmas tea with natural spices such as orange peel, cloves and cinnamon. Everything looks pretty strong!
    • Taste
      90 90
      Oily, smooth and yet lively with Ahoibrause orange, behind it elderflower syrup, a tart liquorice stick, slightly scraped-out vanilla pod mixed with ripe pomelos and grapefruit. Delicious.
    • Finish
      88 88
      Becomes slightly bitter, but nicely balanced with sweet and sour, until it runs out of air after a while.

  3. LukasJakubDrabek did not rate this whisky Shoplink Moderator

    Ralfy review 827: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96AhhV41Y_0 (90/100).

  4. detachedblue scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    The finish is a killer, very good indeed.
    • Nose
      90 90
      Very syrupy, coconut oil, vanilla seed, pure and oily, concentrated, Magnolia flowers, hard candy.
    • Taste
      87 87
      very mellow and sweet, cookies, bread, all the malty notes, cereals. Then more floral and fruity, vanilla ice cream, melons, delicate, very easy drinking.
    • Finish
      91 91
      Super long, mints and herbs, melons, mango, tropical.

  5. The_Independent scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    A nicely matured, old bottling. Not overlaid and with a wonderful aroma - I like the nose best. They say it could be a Clynelish - I immediately believe that. I am happy to have secured a large bottle
    • Nose
      91 91
      Immediately appears full and powerful in the glass, but takes time to release the numerous different smell notes. Then beautiful aromas of sweet, ripe, yellow fruits develop - melon, peach, apricot. Freshly sawn green wood, a little fresh mint, grass, honey, wax and some vanilla. Everything is accompanied by spicy notes.
    • Taste
      90 90
      Oily with a strong start. Slightly peppery and initially less sweet than expected. Quite spicy. Honey, then strong vanilla and becoming sweeter. A little bitter cocoa to finish.
    • Finish
      89 89
      Medium length. A creamy mouthfeel remains. Cocoa, sweet yellow fruit, again the green sawn wood, a little nut, clear bitter notes appropriate to the age.

  6. Arquebus scored this whisky 92 points Expert Senior

    Two bottles bought @ £116.50ea from Master of Malt in June. One opened as soon as it arrived. It's now December and I'm half way down. The taste and first smell was mind-blowing I recall, but never judge on first opening.
    Just noticed I've not reviewed - so I poured a measure. quick sniff from the bottle - beautiful oak spices! just Wiped a drip from the bottle - smell on my finger lingers, reach for a lid to pop over (a copper coloured Arran 14 lid!) . Set up computer and start typing. 5 mins open: closed quite tight, some sweet perfumey notes.
    Firstly everyone I've shared this with very impressed, and always rated the best whisky of the evening.
    Second smell - beautiful delicate oak spice, sweet icing sugar, mirabelle plums, some fresh toasty oak notes - coconut, fresh fruits - Taste - nose carries through. expressive arrival and development. finish is a mile long. This is a great whisky mid-day - it's worth having a dram out of 'normal context' - perhaps in the open air when ones nose and palette are more tuned.
    15mins - some damp wood (that'll be the older oak casks kicking in?) starts to dominate. Some playful complexity emerging - uber sweet fruits - esters - wood bitters, ubiquitous oak spices - polishes, cough tinctures, precious woods and wood resins - second sip - massive - 43% - is plenty - it feels more. I've resisted water so far - perhaps a couple of drops....
    25mins after the two drops of water - nose is crowded and closed again - damp woods and polishes - now coconut, fruits, white wine, some linseed and putty, takes some time to regain its composure after the water. At 35 mins still playful, still some hidden surprises - I'm using the lid to 'trap' vapours and aromatics - bubble gum? a slight breadiness (stale shortbread?). At 50 mins - suddenly on nosing - a wallop of almond; clear as day! The taste is fresh, sweet then bitter and drying as it should be, light on the palette - and finishing long on oak spice and malt.
    Previous tastings have been more expressive - May be my palette today, but could be the whisky is settling after 6m . Like all older whiskies (I assume) this one has a 'glass-life' and starts to wind down after 30-40 mins - and also a 'bottle life' so probably time to pop a nitrogen blanket on the bottle!
    92 points well earned - especially at the price.

  7. Totoro scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    An idiosyncratic one for sure. Too extreme for me, but at this age and with the intensity of the aromas, you certainly get some bang for your buck.
    As for Clynelish as a lead malt... I would never have been able to pick up on that because this is so heavily cask-driven.
    • Nose
      88 88
      Is this still a malt? Noses more like a hybrid between a bourbon and an old grain, with these rather massive and insurmountable top notes of glue, solvent, varnish, and polish, followed by strong impressions of marzipan and coconut. Those are by far the dominant aromas, and at least in my tasting excursions, they never really subsided enough to make room for other aromas to gain an equal footing. I guess that's what you get from 31 years in first-fill ex-bourbon wood...
      Behind this, you can sense some old oak - with an accompanying association of wax, mint and/or menthol - and quite a few bitters like hops, dark chocolate and (partly rotten) orange rind. There's even a savory and leathery note in here that I would more commonly associate with sherried bottlings. It's all very intense, to be sure, but also somewhat over the top, bordering on the incoherent. Still, a lesser score would not do justice to the complexity and originality that's on display here.
    • Taste
      86 86
      The bitters have their say: I'm reminded of strongly hopped beer, sichuan pepper, and tonic water. Cointreau, herbal liquors, wood sap, resin: it's all pretty dark and oaky. I'm missing any real fruits here, plus the mouthfeel is a bit thin at 43%. The age is certainly palpable, though.
    • Finish
      86 86
      India Pale Ale, Italian bitters, menthol, unsweetened cranberry.

  8. Jstar scored this whisky 92 points Member Junior

    Opened the bottle and gave it a good sniff. This is the real deal. First scoop was a bit up tight but no suprise as I was a bit enthusiastic and didn't give it enough time in the glass. Second go I was more patient and it paid off. All the tasting notes from others are right. Citrus and bitter are full on.

  9. Mannix65 scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      86 86
    • Taste
      89 89
    • Finish
      88 88

  10. erwinnlim scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    A good value dram considering you get a 31 year old.It definitely has that aged character to it but I find the oak influence dominates a little too much. I personally would have preferred if less active casks were used for this one. Value (£100) : 8/10
    • Nose
      Upfront a kick of mature, mellow bourbon influence. Caramel sweetness and loads of vanilla in the background and an unmistakable whiff of dusty old furniture, oak shavings and beeswax. Green bananas, melons and pineapple come through. A tang of orange peel. This smells of well aged cognac. A touch of desiccated coconut and a light cooling menthol. Then loads of of oak spice with cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and slight ginger heat. You can really tell it's been in the barrel for a long time.
    • Taste
      Decent waxy mouthfeel. Initially citrus fruits, bittersweet oranges and pomelo. Stone fruits and more melons. Very honey led with sweet vanilla custard as well. Again the flavour profile shares some characteristics with aged cognac. That develops into more baking spices (especially cinnamon) and a touch of white pepper. Some old tobacco leaves. A note of overbrewed black tea and some bitter, mouthwatering appear.
    • Finish
      More honeyed citrus and wood spices linger. Bittersweet and drying. Like chewing on tea or tobacco leaves and a minty touch with more of that mouthcoating waxiness carrying the finish.


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