Whisky Tasting #13: Compass Box

Compass Box is like the Edward Snowden of the Scotch whisky industry: They’re young, rebellious and good-natured. They’re fiercely committed to transparency, accountability and freedom of information. And they’ve risked everything standing up against an all-powerful and shadowy organisation.

Okay, Compass Box’s fight against the Scotch Whisky Association might not be quite so dramatic, but those of us who are passionate about our whisky see it as no less important. To celebrate the launch of another cheeky and brilliant release (the painfully cool “Three Year Old Deluxe”), we decided to taste a selection of classic Compass Box whiskies, the ones that made them famous. Here we go!

The Lineup

After warming up (chilling out?) with a couple of home-brewed Old Fashioneds, we busted out the Great King St. expressions – whiskies designed to turn single malt snobs into passionate blend lovers.

Featuring a high malt content, quality grain whisky and some of Compass Box’s fancy custom casks, The Artist’s Blend (43%) is packed with Speyside style goodness, with a healthy dose of fruity Clynelish for good measure.

This was followed naturally by The Glasgow Blend (43%), a slightly more sherried, peaty and malty blend in the same vein. Needless to say, the little 500ml bottle was absolutely demolished, an instant favourite.

On to the infamous Spice Tree (46%), my personal favourite and the eyebrow-raiser of the night. As the name might suggest this is a heavy, complex and spicy dram, one to be savoured over the course of an evening…

…which we might have done, were it not for needing to put The Peat Monster (46%) to the test. Also as the name suggests, this is a powerfully peaty behemoth, but one with a surprising amount of fruit, depth and development.

Compass Box rocks – rarely do we try four different whiskies that are unanimously enjoyed. See you next month!

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