The Compass Box is a ‘renegade’ artisanal whisky company that produces a great selection of Scotch whisky rather differently from your other whisky producers in Scotland. I manage to sip a few of their creation last week, so here are my tasting notes:
The Spice Tree Blended Malt Scotch Whisky (46% abv)
The Spice Tree is a lively whisky from the start! It is filled with aromas of toffee, chocolate, cinnamon and a hint of espresso.
Take a sip, and a rich, syrupy whisky flowing with flavours of treacle, caramel and roasted hazelnuts shall grace your pallete. A solid sip with lingering tones of spice.
The Peat Monster Blended Malt Scotch Whisky (46% abv)
Great balance on the nose with a smoky (as the name may already suggest..) character that is accompanied by gentle aromas of freshly cut grass and herbs.
On the first sip, there is a touch of sweetness that goes along with the peat. Take a second sip and you’ll find that the ‘peatiness’ settles into your taste bud and reveal flavours of honeycomb, ginseng root and herbs.
It’s an enjoyable whisky where the peat do not drown the beauty of the whisky!
Great King St Blended Scotch Whisky (43% abv)
A pleasant sweet scent of vanilla and oak will greet your nose.
On the palate, the whisky is well balanced without a burst of a single dominant flavour. It reveals flavours of ripe fruits, honey and a soft touch of spice. A smooth and velvety character awaits at the finishing line….. Nothing like most blended scotch whisky out there.
I manage to have a go at the new Johnnie Walker Platinum Label 18 yrs last night. It’s a relatively different scotch from the previous Johnnie Walker Gold Label 18 yrs which I favoured most among the range of Johnnie Walker blended scotch. The JW Platinum Label is a blend of single malt and grain whisky with nothing less than 18 years of age. Created by Master Blender Jim Beveridge, it is said to be inspired by previous Johnnie Walker blends that was crafted exclusively for their company directors and special occasions.
For a start, The Johnnie Walker Platinum Label has a deep rustic brown colour.
The nose is rich and peaty with notable hints of fresh barley and toffee.
Taking my first sip, I realised that this whisky is complex and demands a few more sip before passing judgement. This is a mellow tasting scotch that has flavours of toffee candy, apple and spices.
It then ends with a long lingering bitter-sweet finishing. The finish was a tad too bitter for my liking.
Personally I still prefer the JW Gold Label 18 yrs. However the JW Platinum Label is still a good scotch that deserves to be on one’s shelf.
If you love your dram with more than a touch of peat and if you’re constantly tempted by the so ever smoky Ardbeg … The Ardbeg Project would be well worth checking out. It’s been done up an Ardbeg enthusiast and the site is filled with information on the Ardbeg single malt and quite a bit on some previous old bottlings. Slainte!
Gordon & MacPhail recently launched the world’s oldest bottled single malt, the Mortlach 70. Presented in a rather contemporary tear drop shaped Glencairn crystal bottle, the content in this bottle is ‘historical’, with its oldest single malt dating back to 1938. This ex-sherry cask aged single malt from Elgin will set you back £ 10,000 and there’s only 54 bottles avaialble.
Bottling : 5.2.09
Barrel No. : 315, Warehouse : H, Rick: 28
Pale light amberish colour with a tinge of green. An interesting nose with traces of warm spices, sweet vanilla and prominent tones of orange rind…(an almost ‘cognac’ like aroma). Take a sip and the bourbon opens up with a sweet start and then a rush of spices. It gently melts away to a herbaceous finish with a rather strong dose of bitterness in its aftertaste. At 49% ABV Blanton’s Silver is a decent bourbon with a rich and heavy character.BLANTON’S MANHATTAN 55ml Blanton’s Silver 30ml Italian Sweet Vermouth 1 dash Angosturas Bitters 2 tsp Sugar Syrup Mix all ingredients with ice cubes in mixing glass and stir. Strain content into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry. * Note: Blanton’s got quite a bitterish character hence be vary of the quantity of Angosturas that goes into this cocktail.
In 2009, I’ve intensified my search for great whiskies (Scottish single malt in particular) both for interest and work. I honestly have tasted quite a fair bit (although I don’t really think its enough!), and have placed labels such as Ardbeg, Springbank, Glenmorangie, Makers Mark, and Old Rip Van Winkle as personal favourites. In late 2008 I’ve discovered a great Scottish single malt that is truly unsual and has left a lasting impression on my palatte ever since….it’s the Glenmorangie Signet. Time over time, I’ve tasted this great whisky…and take my word for it… a wee dram is never enough! Here’s some information of the Glenmorangie Signet and my take on the whisky:
The Signet is crafted from Glenmorangie’s archive of ancient whisky with the oldest dating back to 1974.The whiskies employed in its creation derives from aging in ex-bourbon barrels, olorosso sherry casks and virgin ‘slow growth’ designer casks. Glenmorangie uses Single Estate Cadboll barley that is only produced two weeks in a year for this unique creation.
This is a seductive whisky with spices and dark chocolates that dominates the air. Have a quick whiff again and there’s soft underlying hints of caramel and rich mocha. The Signet is rich and dominating on the palate with a twist of orange rind, fresh espresso and warm spices (I suggest you enjoy this one neat). A velvety finish and an aftertaste of ground coffee.
* You’ll find that the Signet has a dominant chocolate, roasted coffee and bitter character mainly deriving from the usage of the ‘chocolate malt’ in its creation. The ‘chocolate malt’ is a highly roasted malt that is both rare and expensive which is only malted in small batches.