Aaaaand a new very very secret Orkney, as if we didn’t have enough of it (take a look at this one or this one, for example). This one here is 17 years old, and it was finished in a Pedro Ximenez cask for… well, I sincerely don’t know for how long, it’s a question I’d gladly ask the guys of North Star Spirits, the Glasgow-based indie bottlers who are responsible for the creation of this baby. I love the name, also because I immediately associate it with the Fist of the North Star: I really really hope that my head won’t explode under the punches of this undisclosed Highland Park, though…
But let’s put my cartoonish imagination aside, and let’s focus on the malt here. It looks dark red in the glass: clearly that finish in PX was not a gentle one. I’m very curious about this whisky, I think just as much as Kenshiro was about the location of his beloved Julia. Well, I luckily I won’t have to punch my way through countless thugs in a post-apocalyptic desert to know it. I’ll just drink it.
Nose: Oh, interesting, spicy! And sweet, so sweet, full of sugar and of a (too?) fierce sweet sherry. It’s quite fruity, too: apples, sweet mango… but that sugar is melting over the whole thing, and it’s so strong that I almost missed those cherries. The alcohol is quite strong, and it has to be tamed with some water. Luckily I do have what it needs… It doesn’t smell too complex, I think, but it does smell delicious. I’d sniff it for hours, after dinner. I think I also get some oily notes, and a naughty puff of smoke. Salty air now, probably the same smell Ken was getting while he was travelling to the Land of Asura. I feel like this marine side is coming up more and more with the water, keeping the PX at bay. Cinnamon, too.
Taste: Very tasty, with sugar, cherry, a very vague smoke. Very intense, and I think I wouldn’t have guessed its age – it tastes younger than 17 years old to me. I think some water is required to penetrate these layers of smoldering sweetness. Very sweet, then, with a tad of dirty smokiness, salty and a bit… sulphuric? Not what I’d define as “well balanced”, but I do enjoy it. Very fruity, again with those apples and cherries I smelled before, but there is something else, something like… plums! Cinnamon, again, and when you’ll taste it, it will hit harder than the punches of Raoh. Not too oily, it definitely makes you feel the finish in PX.
Finish: Very sweet and quite long, with a light smoke. It’s quite clean here, but there is some kind of woody bitterness that I have to admit I don’t appreciate too much.
Overall: To compare it with the “Fist of the North Star” manga, I think I like it better than the Jagi arc, but less than the Cassandra arc. In other words, it gets a diplomatic 85/100. I bought this bottle at the Milano Whisky Festival back in 2018 and I liked it even more back then. Tasting it dram after dram if I did appreciate its sweetness and its fruitiness, I feel like it’s a bit too much PX-dominated (and maybe to little Highland Park) to ascend in the realm of my all time favourites. It cost less than 75 euro when I bought it. If you find it and you think you’ll like this profile, go and embrace the PXness!