Compass Box The Circus Compass Box 49% NAS
|Distilled date||Not Specified|
|Condition||In Original Box|
This is the complete recipe for this composition:
57% of blended malt, marrying for a very long time in a refill sherry butt
26% of blended grain whisky, also married in a refill sherry butt
15% of Benrinnes single malt from a first-fill sherry butt
a tiny amount of blended malt from a refill sherry butt
Serge Valentin (82)
The composition is so complicated, involving some kind of married casks plus malt from Benrinnes. What seems to be sure is that it’s all sherry. As for the label, well, it looks like some circa 1910 Prussian chromolithography. And why not! Colour: gold. Nose: don’t we all know that CB have discovered the secret behind any great blend? Which is, you guessed it, to keep the grain content to the strict minimum? Unless you’ve got some 1960s ex-sherry Invergordon at hand, of course. Sponge cake and caramel, panettone, Mars bar, butterscotch, a spoonful of muesli. No bomb so far, but its more than fine. Mouth: hold on, I do detect grain matured in first fill wood. I may be dreaming, but that imparts a rounder profile, more chocolaty, more on Nutella (yeah, go, shoot), more on tiramisu, and more on café latte. Not totally my thing, but I know friends who’d kill for this style. De Gustibus et Coloribus non est disputandum… Finish: medium, round, vanilla-ed and pastry-like, with a little more malt in the aftertaste. Ovaltine readymade drink, you know, you just add hot water, and you get some kind of warming beverage. Nescafé. Comments: very very (and I mean very) good, just not quite my style. After all, the grain content may have been high, I was probably plain wrong again. Totally love what CB do, but I tend to like their stellar Clynelish/Islay-led compositions even better. Yeah, de Gustibus etc. indeed…
Gal Granov (89)
Nose : marzipan and sweet caramelized apples up front with old and elegant sherry, a bit dusty at times (a good thing yes?), orange peel candy, marmalade and a whiff of cigar humidor, and old school candy.
Palate : sweet sherry with chocolate and quite a bit of ripe stewed fruit. Some fig and ripe prunes too, almost jam-like, furthermore I’m getting nice toffee notes, as well as, gentle coffee, with hints of mocha, nuts and almonds, and maybe a hint of marzipan.
Finish: Long, rewarding with the dark stewed fruit, Xmas pudding, and tobacco.
This is a delicious whisky, yet it seems something is lacking and it does not reach the heights I was hoping it would. I guess I had very high expectations after tasting The General, and sadly it is just a little short of that. I would love a bottle of this anyways, pricing is however not cheap, and due to the fact that it’s very limited (under 3,000 bottles), it’s probably sold out. We need more whisky like this around. surely.
Whiskynotes: Nose: elegant, layered whisky. A wee mustiness at first, then classic sherry notes, dried fruits and some roasted pecans. Orange cake and a little tobacco. A light sourness and a faint hint of marzipan as well. Mouth: more sherry character, but a little lightweight. Red berries, overripe damsons and a more vague fruit compote. I guess the grain component is at the right level, certainly not unnoticeable but no roughness whatsoever. Fades on malty notes, toffee and nougat, with a light fruity sourness. Finish: long, on fruit cake, tobacco and hints of Cognac.
Good whisky, similar to the “forgotten” old blends and vatted malts that we’re recently seeing from so many independent bottlers. Actually I didn’t expect creators like Compass Box to go down that same street of undisclosed (and in a way ready-made) components? Very tasty but it ends just below Flaming Heart or The General.