Compass Box have been quietly carrying on releasing whiskies of which I have bought none. At least, not after this three year old came out. I’m not entirely sure why that is because I generally love their releases, and I am quite in their corner regarding the age statement campaign they were doing some years ago.
Their ‘Scotch Whisky Transparency’ campaign started after they got flack for disclosing which whiskies went into their blend. Whether or not you prefer age statements or not, I think we can all agree it’s utterly ridiculous that you cannot disclose with what ingredients you’re making your booze.
Their response to the allegations of confusing marketing or whatever was, as always, to create a whisky that drives the point home. Much like their ‘Last Vatted Malt’ and the Spice Tree changes which they were not quiet about. In this case it’s a 3 year old whisky that contains less than one percent three year old whisky. If I’m not mistaken the rest is 19 year old Talisker (9%) and 24 year old Clynelish (90%).
So, a three year old whisky that went for over € 200, if I recall correctly. Currently available in Whiskybase’s Marketplace for € 280. Any good?
Apples and pears, a whiff of smoke and a minuscule resiny note. Pine trees, old barley and oak planks. A dusty attic, with some old bits of paper knocking about.
Very smooth on the palate. A bit of a black pepper like edge, but mostly fudge, honey and dry oak. Some dry autumn leaves and a bit of slate. The tiniest whiff of peat smoke, and it gets drier after you let it swim for a bit. It gets a bit more honey sweetness too, after a while.
The finish has a bit more of the resin and fruit, compared to the palate. But that only adds to the complexity of the dram. I guess that on top of the apples and pears there’s a bit of crumble pastry and blackberries.
Well, the short answer to “Any good?” is yes. This is a great whisky! Maybe that’s because I absolutely love Talisker and Clynelish, and this sits somewhere between those, without it being an unbalanced, indecisive whisky.
There’s quite some complexity, which is only helped by the varying ages in this blended malt. The fruits, the more classical barley and oak, with a touch of smoke, spice and austerity really work for me. Kudos to Jon Glaser.
Maybe I should pay more attention (and therefore money) to Compass Box’s releases…
Three Year Old Deluxe, 49.2%, Compass Box