Whisky Review Round Up: PM Spirits Whiskies

Editor’s Note: These whiskies was provided to us as review samples by PM Spirits. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.

PM Spirits, out of New York, started curating cognacs to distribute. Eventually they started adding other spirits to their portfolio, and now distribute to 24 states. The premise behind the portfolio is geekiness. With collectors out there looking for unicorns, PM Spirits delivers with limited release stock.

For this round-up we look at North Star Spirits, and a Spanish single malt from Navazos Palazzi. North Star Spirits is an independent bottler in Glasgow. They bottle single barrels from different distilleries all over Scotland. All their products have a limited bottle production, are non-chillfiltered, and bottled at cask strength. 

Let’s take a look at the selection of North Star Spirits and the Navazos Palazzi Spanish whisky…yes, Navazos Palazzi omits the “e.”  

North Star Whiskies

Some of the North Star whiskies imported by PM Spirits (image via PM Spirits)

Tasting Notes: N*S Glenturret 8 Year Old

Vital Stats: 57.1% ABV. non-chillfiltered and aged in an ex-bourbon hogshead. Only 330 bottles produced. 750mL ~$85. 

Appearance: Pale straw/blonde.

Nose: A bit of orange slice hits the nose first before making way musky salt air. I am transported to a forested area with campfires in the distance and rotting mulch at my feet. This dram is really stinky. It’s a familiar smell, but at the same time it was so off-putting my brain had a hard time connecting it. It’s beef jerky or cured meat. At the end, is a mix of nuttiness and kitchen herbs.

Palate: Reminiscent of snack mix with salt and black pepper roasted nuts. There is a faint sweetness in the middle, but then everything turns bitter and medicinal. Throughout the dram is the taste of bland oak and spice. It is very hot and overwhelming from the alcohol. 

Final Thoughts: I feel like I should be chewing on this one since it tastes so heavily like jerky. It definitely requires the right setting, mood, etc. to enjoy. It’s not an every day or nightcap scotch. Should be paired with a full meal, like a Ron Swanson meat smorgasbord. 

Score: 3/5

Tasting Notes: N*S Benrinnes 10 Year Old

Vital Stats: 49.1% ABV. Aged in an ex-bourbon hogshead, then finished in Pedro-Ximenez sherry casks. Only 294 bottles produced. 750mL ~$100.

Appearance: Amber/clove honey. 

Nose: I first notice the sweetness on the nose. It’s a vibrant mixture of honey and confectioner’s sugar. Pear and apple come through with pastry dough, like tarts with a touch of cinnamon. A mixed floral bouquet waits for you at the end. It’s reminiscent of grandmother’s fancy hand cream and perfume. 

Palate: The mouthfeel is oily and warm. Lots of honey and orange slice is present in the beginning. The dram is quite hot. The sweetness fades to reveal a woody note. As soon as you notice the wood, it disappears and the whisky just tastes phenolic. Overall, I find it pretty bland as if someone wrung it through a dirty dish towel. 

Final Thoughts: The heat combined with the phenolic taste just made this dram unappealing. How can something taste so acrid and bland at the same time? The nose was devastatingly deceitful.

Score: 2.5/5

Tasting Notes: N*S Bruichladdich 15 Year Old

Vital Stats: 57.1% ABV. Aged 15 years in Radoux French oak casks. Only 264 bottles produced. 750mL ~$264.

Appearance: Dark amber.

Nose: I am picturing a lighthouse keeper or sea captain smoking a tobacco pipe, and the smoke of the pipe tobacco wafting with salty ocean air. The dram is  bright with orange and lemon peel. The sweet scent of caramel and toffee wave in and out. The finish has hints of dark chocolate. 

Palate: Cigar smoke and ash start the profile, while leather sneaks up behind. It’s hot all over for a second, then stays spicy and warm. Sweet orange segments with wood are subtle throughout the whisky. 

Final Thoughts: On chilly nights, this dram will keep you toasty. I am not a fan of aging solely in French oak, but the Bruichladdich has the flavors of cigar smoke and leather with subtle sweetness that I search for in a scotch. I would add this to my collection. 

Score: 4/5

Tasting Notes: N*S Orkney 17 Year Old 

Vital Stats: 55.5% ABV. Aged 17 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead, then finished in Oloroso sherry casks. Only 366 bottles produced. 750mL ~$89.

Appearance: Light amber. 

Nose: Baby powder and floral bouquet come through first, then transitions solely to orange blossom. Honey mixes with baking spices, mostly nutmeg, in the background. 

Palate: At first, I can taste banana and baking spice. However, the dram all of a sudden gets hot and numbs the tongue. After a few moments, the finish reveals heather and milk chocolate. 

Final Thoughts: The banana was a surprise since I could not find it anywhere in the nose. The finish is the best on this whisky. North Spirits refuses to let you know which Orkney distillery this comes from. Highland Park’s Light and Dark series are both aged 17 years. It’s up to you to be the detective. 

Score: 4/5

Tasting Notes: Navazos Palazzi Malt Whisky “Bota Punta”

Vital Stats: 52.5% ABV. 100% Spanish barley. Finished in freshly emptied Oloroso sherry casks, and is bottled at cask strength unfiltered. Only 900 bottles produced. 750mL ~$90.

Appearance: Medium amber with glints of burgundy.

Nose: Raisin overpowers with a sweet syrupy note from the Oloroso. Lemon, zest and oil, makes this dram bright and keeps it open. Black pepper is sprinkled throughout here and there. 

Palate: The mouthfeel is soft and velvety.  The lemon and raisin from the nose are present, but the main note is a nuttiness like hazelnut or almond. It is a touch dry almost like a Fino sherry. The finish is more so umami and reminds me of soil or clay. Overall, the whisky is sweet, but not syrupy. 

Final Thoughts: I love this whisky. It is the first Spanish single malt I have ever tasted. I was pleasantly surprised. The Oloroso finishing is handled with a delicacy that you often don’t find when other brands are seemingly haphazardly experimenting with finishes. Find it. Buy it. 

Score: 5/5


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