Tasting the Compass Box Oak Cross
The second instalment in the series of Compass Box whiskies is the Oak Cross. The name of this dram comes from the unusual kind of wooden casks used for maturing the spirit here. Essentially the Oak Cross is a vatting of whisky aged in both American and French Oak casks. In addition Compass Box works with a small mill in France who produces some of the highest cooperage work in the world.
Their work with this mill led to experiences of secondary maturation of malt whiskies in casks fitted with new French oak heads, and is unique since no other whisky company in Scotland is using this technique. up to 50% of the malt whisky that goes into the Oak Cross vat is matured using this method. Actually, those special fitted casks (in addition to first-fill Bourbon casks) are used for the marrying of the whiskies.
In terms of whisky sources, Compass Box indicates that only Highland whiskies are used here, led by Teaninich, and some malts from the villages of Brora (for fruitiness) and Carron (for weight) are used. All those are 10-12 years old.
My good friend Jason at GUID scotch drink has already reviewed this one, and kindly revealed that the Brora distillery here is Clynelish, while the Carron distillery is Dailuaine. End of mystery 😉
Now, let’s check this one out.
Nose: Sweet, vanilla up front, some candy and hints of Turkish delight , wood spice, honey and oatmeal. very lively and appetizing. That’s a good start!
Palate : Palate continues on the spicy side , oats and vanilla flavours complemented by some fruit,nuts and almonds. wee dried fruit elements are there also In addition, some chocolate coated nuts. all nicely integrated.
Finish : vanilla sweetness followed by drier notes and spices on the end with touches of dark chocolate and cocoa. Good length too.
A very enjoyable dram, at a good pricing point. I would suggest this one as an entry point to people making their first steps in the whisky world. Quality / Price ratio is also good. Another good example of good vatting / marrying and aging.