Periodical is a new range of whiskies from North Star Spirits.
"Sometimes we buy casks yielding a very low amount of liquid or customers want a private bottling without taking the whole cask. What do you do with that I hear you ask yourself?
Well, my good friends what we’ve chosen to do is create a brand called ‘PERIODICAL’
These will of course be available periodically (see what we did there) and because of the horrifically low yield, only available to the UK market
The other thing we’d like to inform you is they will always be 50cl, they will always be 50% and they will always retail under £50"
OK, so on paper this could be a bit a a wheeze to get rid of unwanted, sub par product - think Wonky Veg from the supermarkets... but I have to say, based on this first bottling, I'm happy to be wrong!
This is a little gem of a Highland Park and it's immediately obvious from the first sniff as to what is in the glass. The heather smoke and honey profile is impossible to ignore but it is also very clean and fresh and sweet. Sunlight on oak, juicy wooden boards and white orchard fruits, a tiny little wood smoke, crystalline and creamy at the same time. It smells rather better than I expected.
On the palate and the first sip is something altogether unexpected. It is light and airy and almost ethereal, its so light, this is not to say it is not full of flavour, but the sensation is one of drinking clouds or a warm, fruity fog. Maybe I was expecting something heavier but the reality as opposed to the expectation has taken me aback - and not in a bad way! This is delicious. The sweet arrival, wrapped in this delicate sensation is quite full on and with it comes the heather smoke. It is a Highland Park laid bare in all its glory. No masking of the spirit with finishes in this or that, this old refill puncheon No.424 has done its job over 12 years and imparted subtle characteristics and tones into the spirit. From sip to swallow it feels fruity and delicate. The 50%vol is perfect, no heat to speak of but a definitely pushes the palate along with muscle. Its simple, clean really delicious. The finish isn't a whopper by any stretch but sometimes it's nice to have a scotch that tiptoes out without slamming doors and knocking over furniture; variety is the spice or some such nonsense.
Is it any good? It has to be said that based on the first efforts, this may be a range to watch for those looking for something genuinely different and interesting. The 50cl size is oddly, quite a welcoming change for me. The price for something 'cask strength' or as close as, is pretty good and for £39.95 it is a little cracker.
Only thing I don't like is the label design, the rest of the North Star range has labels that I genuinely find interesting and look like they were designed by a talented designer - this Periodical label not so much. It's terrible and doesn't do what's in the bottle or what the range stands for any justice. I can live with that though.