Compass Box This is not a luxury Whisky 53.1% NAS
€ 350,90 (in Vat)
|Condition||In Original Container|
79% Glen Ord, 19 yo first-fill sherry butts
4% Caol Ila, 30 yo
10.1% Strathclyde, 40 yo grain
6.9% Girvan, 40 yo grain
Serge Valentin (90)
If you follow Magritte’s famous pipe, this IS meant to be a Luxury Whisky – since there was a pipe in the painting - which the price does kind of confirm (around 200€). Now, there’s some very old grain and some Caol Ila 30 inside, so… And after all, I always like to quote Coco Chanel on luxury ‘Luxury isn’t the opposite of cheapness, it’s the opposite of vulgarity’. So nothing to do with prices, and some distillers will never manage to make their whiskies ‘luxury’ just by raising their prices. But back to Compass Box. Colour: deep gold. Nose: it seems that it needs a bit of breathing, let’s wait… zzz… Right, it would rather start with apple peelings and blond tobacco, plus various herbal teas, including plain tea and chamomile. After that, we’re rather having some wet beach sand, earth, certainly a little cedar wood (new humidor), and then ‘natural’ porridge and muesli. With water: love when essential oils come out. Swims extremely well. Mouth (neat): bright, and mainly spicy, earthy, and smoky. Did someone distil artisan lapsang souchong? Tends to become meady and orangey, which just works. A feeling of mango jam. I find this excellent, there mustn’t be much grain in this. Yeah I know it’s old grain. With water: spicier, more herbal, more oaky ‘of course’ but that oak rather added notes of earthy tea (oh, no, he’s gonna quote pu-erh again…) So pu-erh plus lapsang plus marmalade. Finish: medium, with something Christmassy. Must be the spiciness. The smoke also gets in your ey… I mean, your taste buds. Comments: excellent. Ceci n’est pas un très bon score.
Gal Granov (90)
Nose : I must say this feels cozy. With a deep sweet backbone with old sherry cask notes of toffee, sticky rice and a floral note with citrus peel and lemon drops as well as wood spices (Clove, cardamom, and a pinch of white pepper. Not a lot of sherry but it’s in the backdrop.
Palate : Oh yeah. This is where the smoke kicks in with the old coal ila. A bit of pepper up front which then gives way to earthy peat, smoky dried figs and sweet malty and toffee feel to it with chocolate ganache, vanilla pods and baking spices. Lovely mix of flavors and sensations.
Finish : Earthy. Smoky. Dry with a lingering sweet dried fruit and hickory sauce.
I am a sucker for old grains, and those two single grains are really integrating nicely with the Glen Ord, which consists of most of the vatting. Adding the older Coal Ila (same cask as in the Flaming heart?) is a cool idea, and the smoke and old peat adds complexity and smoky notes. At first one would think the vatting a bit weird, but corny as the saying is, the whole is really larger than the sum of its parts. I love this one as well, and It is hard to decide which is better, this or the Flaming Heart, as both are excellent. If I had a limited budget I’d go for the flaming heart, if I could afford both, I’d buy them both. Lovely stuff. really so.