Blended Malts: Shackleton Legend, Campbeltown Loch Batch 1, North Star Spirits Supersonic Mach 2
Shackleton Blended Malt 40% abv
Nose: Quite an enticing nose. Fruity first - pear and lychee, a touch of dried apricot. Vanilla, honey and even some coconut. Along with some dried ginger spice there is a slightly acetone note indicating a bit of youth to this.
Palate: The body is a little thin and watery (yeah I know it only cost £24...but still). Honey and malt on arrival alongside some burnt sugar and sultanas. Then comes my favourite note of all....envelope glue leading to ginger warmth and pepper plus dry oak. Only a hint of the fresh fruit the nose suggested.
Finish: Short with that glue note lingering along with tannic oak
Score: 4 out of 10
Campbeltown Loch Batch 1 46% abv
Nose: Zesty, fruity and creamy. Lemon and lime zest are the immediate hit followed by apple strudel and vanilla cream. There's a slight coastal salinity to the nose alongside whiffs of tar and light menthol. There's a certain cheesiness too indicating the Campbeltown funk is alive and well. Waxy, a dusty bookshelf and then peach and mango Robinsons squash.
Palate: A fairly oily mouthfeel leads to that peach and mango note from the nose followed by lemon zest, pink grapefruit and a chalky minerality. Mid palate we get a white pepper spice hit leading back to vanilla custard and licks of bonfire smoke. A nice malty note pervades the entire experience.
Finish: medium length with ashy, salted lemons and sweet malt
Score: 7 out of 10
I've reviewed a few drams from North Star Spirits now and they have never really disappointed. Like wise the Supersonic 2 is a great little drop. Nicely sherried without being an absolute sherry bomb. Not overly complex but very drinkable and at £42 for the entry fee there is very, very little to complain about.
I nearly feel bad for the Campbeltown Loch to be the clear winner in this roundup as it could seem a little cliché, but it is genuinely a super drop for the money. You get to experience that Campbeltown funk without having to re-mortgage the house. Okay it's no Springbank 10 but at least you're likely to be able to get your hands on a Campbeltown Loch, especially if you actually visit Fairley's in Coleraine.
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