The entire whisky world seemed to be raving about this dram about a month or two ago. I never tried a Flaming Heart, I think, so I thought it was a good idea to order a sample from Master of Malt. Don’t you just love samples?
The idea behind a lot of the ‘standard’ Compass Box bottlings is that they showcase a certain aspect of whisky. This one focusses wood and charring. Peat Monster focuses on peat (duh!) and Oak Cross also focusses on wood, but in a different way.
Slightly smoky with a fair dollop of wood flavours. Lots of toasted oak (I wrote this down before I looked up the cask composition). Some coffee, chocolate and wood spices. Very nice with a lot of wood without it becoming too dominant or astringent.
Not really sharp but there is a certain heat. Black pepper corns and wood, wood spices, tree bark and a hint of fruit in the background. There is a slight bitterness like in peach stones.
The finish is rather classic. Medium length, with peach stones, wood spices (cinnamon, nutmeg) and of course, toasted oak. Tree bark, barley, grist, chaff. I get a certain spiritiness at some point.
I’m not raving. I like it, but I am not swept away by the amount of flavours displayed. What it is supposed to do it does very, very well, but I’m just not a big fan of those big toasted oak flavours. Same goes for the Glenfiddich, for example. There should be a bit more and more varying flavour to really make me enthousiastic, I guess.
Still, a very good dram and if you really want to taste what cask charring does to a whisky, get this one instead of the Glenfiddich. It’s twice as expensive, but that’s worth it.
Compass Box Flaming Heart, 4th edition, 48.9%. Available at Master of Malt for € 82.15 and a sample sets you back € 6.80.