Category Archives: Compass Box

Compass Box The Peat Monster

Distillery: Compass Box
Name: The Peat Monster
Region: Highland
Age:
Chill-filtered: No
Strength: 46%
Batch No.: N/A
Bottle Size: 5cl
Price: £37 (70cl)
Nose: Iodine, salty, sweet, orchard fruits
Taste: Peaty, smoky, light, salty, floral, spice
Finish: Long, peaty, oak, light, spicy
Rating: 5/10
Lastly I move onto Peat Monster, a blend of an Islay malt, Isle of Mull malt and a slightly peated Speyside malt to give “a balanced, highly drinkable peaty blended malt Scotch whisky”. I’m partial to peated whiskies, both highly peated Islay drams as well as other more subtle offerings from various distilleries, so this one should be interesting to try.
Well unsurprisingly it hits you with iodine initially but also with a refreshing salty note to it and a sweetness, a little too much for me at first but it does lessen are the air gets around it. As it aerates, hidden behind the iodine which also begins to lessens, you can get the orchard fruit notes coming through. The 46% ABV is also apparent on the nose.
The palate is predominately peaty as you would expect but it does have a lovely smoky note to it as well. The peat dies down some leading into a more delicate palate, a slightly coastal saltiness maybe followed by a soft floral note and a little spice. This leads on to the inevitably long peaty finish which is still light and spicy with an oaky dryness present also.
Yet another light and easy drinking dram from Compass Box. For the peat heads amongst us, this is a well balanced and easily approached dram suitable for both summer evenings due to it’s lightness, but also as a winter warmer due to it’s warm and spicy characters. I’m not sure I’m struck on the nose as such to be honest but the palate is certainly pleasant enough.
Thanks to Compass Box for the sample.

Compass Box Hedonism

Distillery: Compass Box
Name: Hedonism
Region: Highland
Age:
Chill-filtered: No
Strength: 43%
Batch No.: N/A
Bottle Size: 5cl
Price: £54 (70cl)
Nose: Light, sweet, light fruits, herbal, spicy, sponge cake
Taste: Creamy, vanilla, bourbon, toffee, sponge cake
Finish: Medium, well rounded, warm, sweet, spicy
Rating: 7/10
The second one I’m trying is Hedonism, a blended grain whisky, which is an unusual thing to come across for a Scottish whisky. I have only had one grain whisky before, Invergordon – Batch 1 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company), and it was lovely, so when I saw this was made from 100% grain whiskies I started to look forward to it.
The nose is slow to open up at first, initially not lost going on and like the Great King Street, Hedonism is light, refreshing and sweet on the nose. It does however begin to open up wonderfully, moving onto the light fruits and a spicy finish. Once aerated a little longer the fruity notes lessen a little and are replaced with more herbal notes which in turn give way to the sponge cake finish, all the time becoming thicker and creamier.
Onto the palate and you are hit with a lovely creamy mouth-feel, with a slight vanilla note and a definite bourbon edge coming through before the toffee takes over mid palate, giving way to the sponge cake finish. This all leads on to the medium length, full-bodied finish that is warm, slightly sweet and just a nice amount of spice.
Overall I am impressed with the Hedonism. The nose just kept on giving as it was left to aerate and the palate also lived up to this, which is unfortunately where Great King Street fell just a little short (unless you leave it for 10-15 minutes). As only my second grain whisky I am beginning to question why they fell out of favour, it’s bloody lovely stuff.
Thanks to Compass Box for the sample.

Compass Box Great King Street – Artist’s Blend

Distillery: Compass Box
Name: Great King Street – Artist’s Blend
Region: Highland
Age:
Chill-filtered: No
Strength: 43%
Batch No.: N/A
Bottle Size: 5cl
Price: £40 (70cl)
Nose: Light, sweet, vanilla, pear drops, apple strudel
Taste: Creamy, light, subtle spice, apple strudel
Finish: Medium, well rounded, slight oakiness
Rating: 6/10
Following my review of Spice Tree, Compass Box were kind enough to send me 3 samples from their range,  all different styles, to help me better understand blended whiskies and hopefully to convert me towards blends a little more, the Spice Tree gave me a hefty shove over to the world of blends though to be honest 🙂
First off we have a blend of Grain and Malt whiskies in the form of Great King Street – Artist’s Blend. It consists of 46% Lowland grain, 45% Highland malt and 9% Speyside malt that have various wood finishes, First Fill American Oak, New French Oak and First Fill Sherry Butt.
So onto the nose, and I am impressed straight away, it has a refreshing, citrus nose but with the sweet, vanilla notes hitting first, then giving way to pear drops and then apple strudel, which I love.
The palate is light and refreshing yet with a creamy body to it and just a slight spice present, beside the ABV heat. There is also just a hint of the apple strudel there again. The finish is a little plain and short but it does have good body and just a slight oaky dryness at the end.
The palate is relatively simple compared to the lovely nose but it is a very pleasant, easy drinking dram. It does open up quite a bit once left to aerate for 15 minutes for so and then greater resembles the nose. It is a great summer dram to sit and relax with, maybe whilst chatting with a few fiends.
Thanks to Compass Box for the sample.

Compass Box Spice Tree

Distillery: Compass Box
Name: Spice Tree
Region: Highland
Age: 10-11
Chill-filtered: No
Strength: 46%
Batch No.: N/A
Bottle Size: 3cl
Price: £39 (70cl)
Nose: Rich, vanilla, spicy (pepper), oak
Taste: Rich, smooth, slight sweetness, toffee, spicy
Finish: Long, warm, spicy, slight dryness
Rating: 7/10
I’ve heard a lot of good things said about Compass Box, and read many a praising review of their offerings, yet I have never got around to trying any. That had to be rectified! Now I may have mentioned it before that I am not a particularly big fan of blends, they often seem too much of a compromise for me, too smooth and without any really complexity. Lets hope Compass Box can convert me.
I decided to start with the Spice Tree as it has a strong name, makes me thing it might actually have something about it. It is a blended malt made from Highland malts.
Well it kicks off to a good start, the nose is rich with some complexity. It has a good balance of sweetness with a hint of oak and a nice kick of spice initially. The spice eases quite quickly as it aerates but remains at an un-intrusive level.
That richness is carried on to the smooth and mouth-coating palate. The vanilla sweetness is there but takes a back seat, giving way to the richer toffee sweetness and peppery spice that seems to go on forever, warming the palate as it goes. There is a hint of dryness on the finish as well.
With water – Nose: much lighter, fruitier with some cola aroma there too, strange. The palate becomes smoother, with the vanilla sweetness taking a step forward and toffee sweetness a step back. It also emphasises the peppery notes a little.
Well, I’m sold. I knew I would find a blend I enjoy a some point, and this is it. Pretty accurate name as well, delivers what it says on the label.