Compass Box Tasting Whiskyclub Bergen op Zoom
Yesterday we organised a tasting for the new Whiskyclub Bergen op Zoom. This time the subject was Compass Box. We selected six beautiful drams (we hoped, while none of us did know them all). The line-up was quite diverse, fun to taste and talk about it with my fellow members of this club. So which drams did we have?
Compass Box Asyla 40%
To start the evening off we were having a blended dram. Single Malts from Linkwood, Glen Elgin, Teaninich and grain from Cameron Bridge combined into a nice, velvety blend. The nose is very soft, a little sweet and somewhat metallic. The taste is delicate, showing some vanilla, cereals and sweetness combined with the ever present vanilla. Finish is short. Not mind blowing, but just a nice blend, nothing more, nothing less.
Compass Box The Spice Tree 46%
A blended malt which gets it spice from an second filling on heavily toasted French Oak. The nose is crisp/clean and fresh. At first started as a wow nose, after a while just falling apart in very much different smells ganging together. Due to all that different smells it is rather difficult to determine them, besides the sweet vanilla, ginger, almonds and woody spices like cinnamon. Taste displays more wood tones, the spices linger around but more at the background as they slightly blow up in a peppery explosion in the finish. Would do well as an after dinner dram.
Compass Box Hedonism 43%
A blended grain from Cameron Bridge, Carsebridge and Cambus. Used grain whiskies between 14 and 29 years old. On the nose the distinct glue-is smell as I seem to encounter with grain whisky. But again it is very intriguing for me. Opens up with some water added to very creamy vanilla and some honeyed sweetness and chocolate. The taste is quite sweet, but with a lot of oaky influence and a bourbony sweetness and “feel” in your mouth. The finish is long and again intriguing. Have to get more into 100% grain whisky; the ones I tasted so far are extremely good as is this one.
Compass Box Peat Monster 46%
A combination of Coal Ila, Ardmore and Ledaig. On the nose you directly get the somewhat coastal, salty smokiness of the Coal Ila. The smell screams out Islay, but there are some fruity and even floral notes in the smell that gives a distinct smell. The taste is smoky and peaty, some saltiness but also quite sweet with fruit flavours and a little perfumed as you will find in certain Bowmores. The finish though is what you would expect form an Islay, quite smoky, leathery and long. Great dram, although the name didn’t deliver, while it is a peated dram, but definitely not a Peat Monster.
Compass Box Flaming Heart 10th Anniversary Bottling 48,9%
A combination of seven single malts. Primarily Clynelish, Coal Ila and Tobermory. The nose is very complex and full bodied with a little smoke (the kind you get from burning wood in a fireplace) present. Quite sweet and loaded with spice flavours and fruitiness. The taste is playful and sweet but also definitely has some coastal influence present (saltiness, windy beach, and seaweed). The finish is rich, sweet and very warming. Excellent dram that will give you a lot of fun trying to figure it out, while it seems to need time to open.
Compass Box Double Single 53,3% Cask Strength Limited 10th Anniversary Bottling
As the name states it is a blend of 76% 18 year old Glen Elgin combined with a 21 year old Port Dundas grain. Again this is a quite complex dram; it starts off again with a slightly glue-ish smell from the grain but much more sweeter and fruitier. The taste is big, sweet, has some tang into it and a slight woody bitterness. The finish is extremely long. In total a rich and full bodied dram, quite complex and needs more time to open up. Extreme good dram, but also the most expensive in the line-up (approx 115 euro if you can find one). Only 876 bottles made.
John Glaser knows what he is doing. All the drams tasted tonight are great drams. For me the winner is the Flaming Heart, directly followed by the Double Single. Most intriguing dram however for me was the Hedonism. I think I am going to like those good quality grain whiskies!