For our final review of the year we're going to Compass Box. A perfect example of what other companies in the whisk(e)y business should be following. Compass Box is extremely transparent with what goes in to their blends.
First things first, Compass Box is not a distillery. They are a blending house. The take products from various companies and create their own (usually delicious) blends.
Head distiller, John Glaser has a knack for making something special using other people's distillates.
Great King St has a few different blends, but this review is for the Glasgow Blend.
It's a nod to the way blending houses tried to create full flavored whisky back in the 19th century when single whiskys weren't perfected the way they are today.
This blend uses a high single malt content with plenty of sherry and peat influence.
Non-chill filtered and no color added, this is bottled at 43% abv.
Going back to the transparency, Compass Box not only tells you what is in the blend, but also the type of wood it was matured in.
(When they're not allowed to expressly tell you the company it came from, they give you clues as to where the distillery can be located with is hilarious and awesome)
So what goes in to Compass Box Great King St Glasgow Blend?
35% is Grain Whisky from Cameron Bridge that was in first fill American Oak
34% Malt Whisky from "near" Aberlour (Meaning made by Aberlour) in Sherry Butt
18% Malt Whisky from Laphroaig in re-fill American (bourbon) oak
10% Malt from Clynellish in first fill American oak
3% Highland Malt Blend* in custom toasted New French Oak
*Blend of Clynelish, Teaninich and Dailuaine which has a second maturation in a custom barrel. The staves as from used bourbon American Oak but the heads are replaced with new French Oak that was toasted which pulls out some of the spice and oils of the wood.
I think this is a beautifully blended whisky that gives the sherry influence with enough peat influence to keep things interesting. Often times the peat becomes over-powering and the sherry in lost, but not here. This is delicious!
Color: Light amber with a red hue from the sherry
Nose: Sweetened fruits, apple, pear, light smoke
Palate: Initially the sherry sweetness takes front and center before the peat influence shows up without being too overly powerful, enough oiliness to keep tasting it for a while.
Finish: Medium long going back and forth between sweet and smokey finally exiting with the sherry sweetness.
9.2 out of 10
This is up there as one of my favorite whisk(e)ys ever and it's my pick for the most under-rated whisky out there.
At around $45 this is a bargain! More people should be talking about this one. MUST BUY!
Watch the full video review below:
As a fan of scotch and other whiskeys I was tired of looking up reviews for new whiskeys that just oozed of snobbery. I wanted to create an outlet for average Joe's who don't have a sommelier palate. Born and raised in Long Island, New York, I moved to San Diego, California in 2010 with my wife. I'm also a fan of MMA, pro-wrestling, comic books, video games and strongman. All subjects are topic for discussion on the podcast.
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