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.