Dram Review: Compass Box No Name

[48.9%・Bottled In 2017・NAS・Compass Box Bottling・Limited Release of 15,000 Bottles]

Nose:

Sensationally peaty on the nose, loads of smoked bacon, with the dram genuinely faring quite seaweed-y with a clean, thrilling dose of milky peat gliding through. Smoked almonds and sea salt adding to the mix.

Palate & Finish:

Approachable and fluid. Vanilla cream effortlessly developing some marmalade note as a dose of citrus moves through. The peat is well behaved with moderate amounts of spices and icing sugar to follow.

The peat draws out some herbs and some wee earthiness in the finish, with a hint of sea salt to close.

Thoughts:

This is an excellent example of how each component of the a blend can accentuate one another, here we have a straight forward peaty whisky that serves well as the back bone as it is elevated by the other casks that inject life into the blend.

☆ [Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Compass Box The Nectar Tenth Anniversary Blended Malt Scotch Whisky

[46.0%・NAS・Bottled in 2016・Compass Box and The Nectar Bottling・Limited Release]

A predominately Ardbeg blend that was developed by Mr. John Glaser and the Compass Box team with input from The Nectar’s team for the Belgium independent bottler’s tenth anniversary.

Nose:

Full of maritime notes.  Hickory smoked mussels with a heavy, almost tarry substance.  At the same time though, there are these lighter ripe stone fruits alongside vanilla and firewood.  The malt weights on the overall tone and is perhaps indicative of its youthful age.  Plenty of iodine and minerals coming through in time as a seafood chowder creaminess develops.

Palate & Finish:

Ah, white fruit nectar, lemony with plenty of seaweed-y peat and sichimi spices.  The underlying vanilla note turns rather leathery and somewhat bitter with the dried fruit peels.  Quite ashy, tarry but also peppery through out.

The finishing is herbal and lengthy with some lightheartedness from the light fruits.

Thoughts:

I do quite enjoy whiskies from both The Nectar and Compass Box and this is a nice coming together of the two.  The blend is not entirely without rough edges but it’s full of rustic showings of those exiting nuances.  Certainly not a bubble-wrapped Ardbeg.

☆ [Recommended]

-Nicholas

Whisky Review: Compass Box “This is not a luxury whisky”

Style: Summer Berries and Cream Chocolate

Nose:

Alluring blue berries dipped in silky milk chocolate on the nose. Honey drizzled on green pears, stewed fruits and more summer berries followed by teasing spice. All sweet and comfy. Then there is a shy, drier facet – acidic limestone and five spices following through, underneath sits a subtle but steady grassy base which gels everything together.

Palate:

Satisfying mix of fragrant fruits and creamy chocolate on the palate. More fresh and ripe blueberries, cooked fruits and berry compote simmering in a delicious pool of melted milk chocolate. Soft but bright grassy tone lights up the rhythm, vanillic cereal grains dripping with waxy honeycomb. Very nice. Peppermint spice powers through and carries rich and oily sweetness to the end. Blackcurrants, nutella finishes with a touch of toasted oak and crystallized barley sugar.

Finish:

Thick blue berries yogurt stays on, malt biscuit finishes with a light peppermint note.

Thoughts:

What an eye dazzling whisky we have here. Sherry dried fruits are nicely honed by dignified, waxy grains while the delicate grassy undertone gives out a positive vibe. Glamorous creamy texture, beautiful layerings, can’t complain really… By the way yes, this is a luxury whisky, here’s the component breakdown – 79% 19 years old first fill sherry butt Glen Ord, 17% 40 years old Strathclyde and 4% 30 years old Caol Ila. I think each component can fetch quite a bit of fortune these days. This blended scotch is bloody brilliant.

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

[53.1% • 2015 Bottled • Blended Whisky • No Age Statement • Non Chill Filtered • Natural Colour • Limited Release • 4992 Bottles • **]

Whisky Review: Compass Box Spice Tree Extravaganza Limited Edition

Style: Fruity and Honey

Nose:
Fragrant stone fruits, peaches and apricots diffusing gently across the nose. Light vanilla malt and coconut milk nicely augmented by chilli spices. Calm oak incense, a light, creamy honey tone pouring over more apricots and plums. Going drier towards the end, plain barley and straws with a subtle dab of mineral spice.

Palate:
Further fragrant fruits floating through, red orchard fruits and garden berries mingle and give a nice sweet nudge. Coconut sago pudding blended beautifully with smooth, waxy honey. Gentle wood spice and red lollies nose-dive into it making a few ripples. White pepper sprinkles, flavours softening overtime, serving up a dessert of light cinnamon vanilla ice cream.

Finish:
Plums, black liquorice and malt tweeting casually. More honey and sherry innuendos shining through.

Thoughts:
A nice gentle and fruity dram lifted up by an elegant, waxy, honey core. Sweet and pretty lively as well. Pretty sure there is a fair amount of Clynelish here, and sherry too! I certainly do love my Clynelish in my dram, balanced, beautiful layering, no rough spices, not over the moon but certainly I am a happy man.

✓ [Recommended if you like the style/ distillery

[46% • 2016 Bottled • Independent Bottling • No Age Statement • Blended Malt • Non Coloured • Non Chill Filtered • 12240 Bottled • Limited Edition • t]

-Esmond

Dram Review: Compass Box Great King St Glasgow Blend

[43.0% • Bottled in 2014 • No Age Statement • Compass Box Bottling • Limited Edition]

It occurs to me that perhaps I have been quite spoilt lately as I seem to have been taking the more assessable whiskies for granted. I suppose I only have one liver and I need to make choices in regards to the whisky I pour myself on any given night; but whenever I pour myself a quality entry level whisky, such as this one, I am always humbled.

I remember trying the Glasgow Blend at the Compass Box HQ, though it didn’t blow me away back then, I have grown to quite appreciate it after recently acquiring a bottle, for under $60 I believe.

Nose:

Fine crystallised sweetness from whisky tablets on the nose, lightly toasted vanilla bean with a thin and assertive smoke than expands in time, burnt coal and diesel. There is a dried lime zest that gives a slight disruption.

Palate & Finish:

A flowing entry of gooey sweet custard on the palate with a diluted influence of raisins and cured mandarins. There is an injection of dirty smoke that’s chaotic and chic at the same time with the earthy and bitter notes. Dark chocolate powder appears as the smoke develops.

A medium finish that is slightly chewy, espresso ground with the peat smoke clinging on, giving way to a tobacco dryness.

Thoughts:

This is a whisky that comes in handy when one isn’t sure whether to go peat, ex-bourbon or ex-sherry, it is what it says it is, may be just a touch on the thin side but there is certainly enough of a body to fuse the flavours together.

Nicholas

Dram Review: Compass Box “The Double Single”

[46.0%・12 Years Old・Bottled in 2004・Compass Box Bottling・Limited Release]

Nose:

Barley sugar and grain spices on the nose, no wonder they named this the double single, it’s a clever blending of two whiskies, one single grain from Port Dundas and one single malt from Glen Elgin. Well rounded with hint of meatiness to go with a grapefruit note.

Palate & Finish:

Caramel fudge with a mouthwatering lemony sweetness on the palate, joined by vanilla and apricots. The grain spices make a sly showing but disperse gradually, revealing the malty element slowly but steadily.

Thoughts:

An elegant summertime dram made more special when I enjoyed this at the Highlander Inn where one can make an argument that that was where this whisky was birthed. The idea of blending one single malt whisky and one single grain whisky together was first conceived with the input from Mr. Duncan Elphick and Mr. Tatsuya Minagawa of the famed Craigellachie establishment.

✓ [Recommended if you like the style/ distillery]

-Nicholas