Yesterday I had the pleasure to be part of a Compass Box whisky tasting, surprisingly this small batch whisky brand had very interesting products. To Start this company doesn’t distill their whisky but blends different malt and grain whiskies, their unique and creative aging process is what gives Compass Box its distinct characteristics. According to the brand ambassador 67% of the coloring and flavor of the whisky comes from the type of barrel used. The company was founded in 2000 by John Glaser its master blender who came from the wine industry, not surprisingly he is using techniques and elements from the wine production, from the blending to the barrel aging process.
This is what we sampled:
Hedonism is unusual in the Scotch whisky world: a 100% Scotch grain whisky. Using very old casks of Scotch grain whisky, coming from some of the best distilleries including Cambus, Caledonian and Cameron Bridge., typically over 20 years in age. Only bottled once or twice a year, when casks with the right flavour profile are found. When the grain is aged in American oak casks the result is a luscious Scotch with notes of vanilla, toffee and coconut. Recommendations: As an aperitif, serve with a small amount of chilled water. Late in the evening, serve neat. Also makes a great whisky sour.
The Peat Monster
The Spice Tree
Originally released back in 2005 to critical acclaim. But a debate with the SWA (Scotch Whisky Association) over the method of maturation, ended in “The Spice Tree” being deemed ‘illegal’ by SWA standards. The Spice Tree is a blend of four malts aged between 10 and 12 years. 8 % of the blend is re-racked for a few months in French oak casks which have been modified by the addition of extra oak staves, suspended within the cask. This portion is then mixed with the remaining 20%. Aromas: Big spicy sweetness, fragrant and herbal nose, cloves, vanilla, cinnamon and ginger.
OrangerieThis product is a orange zest Scotch whisky infusion.To make Orangerie they use a soft, sweet blend of Highland single malt and single grain whisky from Fife. Using only the freshest, highest quality oranges and top class aromatic spices. Only the hand-zested peel of really fresh Navalino oranges gives the lively, vibrant flavours that are the trademark of Orangerie. It cannot be called Scotch whisky, as it has taken on flavours from the infusion of fresh, hand-zested orange peel and exotic spices.Recommendations: Great as an after dinner drink. Served slightly chilled paired with dark chocolate.