Transistor, Blended Scotch Whisky, 43% – Compass Box (and Punk IPA)

Transistor is one of the three whiskies that have been released in cooperation with BrewDog. Whiskies specially selected to pair well with one of BrewDog’s most available beers.

There’s Tulip Torpedo, a rye whisky from Zuidam that is to be paired with Dead Pony Club. The third is Skeleton Key. This is a blended Scotch from Duncan Taylor.

All three are pretty readily available at quite affordable prices, however, we’re reviewing just the Transistor today.

Punk IPA is the beer that more or less kickstarted my fanaticism for good beer. I’ve had it quite a few times over the last decade. As in, probably over a hundred bottles or so. This seemed like it was something I needed to try.

First, I tried the whisky on its own:

Lots of vanilla and baked apple, hints of cinnamon and raisins. Quite sweet, with a lot of wheat flour.

Some white pepper. Very consistent with the nose. Vanilla, sugary puff pastry, baked apple. Gentle, very gentle.

The finish still has some lingering pepper. The sweetness and vanilla is a bit toned down.

It’s a rather simple whisky. Absolutely not bad, but not something that most afficionados will sit down for to disect for tasting notes. Still, very well made and for € 40/45 you can do much worse.


After writing these notes I started drinking the beer as well and doing it ‘hauf an a hauf‘.

Initially I was rather skeptical, since the whisky has quite some sweet notes with lots of vanilla. And the Punk IPA is a pretty bitter beer, with some fruity notes, but nothing that indicates a combination with a gentle, but cask driven blended whisky!

A sip of the beer, which is hoppy, with hints of herbs and quite some fruit (apple, lychee), followed by the whisky, transforms from hoppy to fruity very fast, but almost seemless.

There’s a bit of a papery hint in the middle of the drinks, but nothing disturbing.

Apart from being an interesting experiment, it’s an awful lot of fun to drink. I think this is something very well done and it makes me very curious to the other two combinations!


About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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2 Responses to Transistor, Blended Scotch Whisky, 43% – Compass Box (and Punk IPA)

  1. Enrico Klein says:

    I especially liked the Skeleton Key / Jet Black Heart combo, they complement each other very well.


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