15 years already? Yes, so it seems. The artisan whisky maker Compass box led by John Glaser has turned 15 and it is releasing some epic whiskies to celebrate that, the two i will be writing about are this , and the “this is not a luxury whisky” (coming soon). I’ve been a fan of the flaming heart for a long time now (since 2006), ever since the first edition came out , as a matter of fact.
Flaming heart was back then the first of its kinds to combine the rich complex spice aged in new French oak with peated whiskies.
This time they have really outdid themselves mixing some fine ingredients to create a huge blended whisky, as follows: A 30 year old Refill American Hogshead from Coal Ila , A rejuvenated American Oak Hogshead from Clynelish (20 yo), a 7 yo Hybrid barrel (a marriage of malt whiskies from Clynelish,Teaninich, and Dailuaine), and a 14 yo refill Hogshead from Caol Ila. Quite a bit of smoke and peat there, with old Caol Ila, Young Caol Ila, and Clynelish and the 7 yo malt to add a bit of spice and malt too. If you’re a whisky geek you are going to appreciate the attention to detail and total clarity Compass Box is committed to, with the vatting chart above. Quality does not come cheap, and this one sells for about 100 quid. Is it worth that? We’re about to find out soon enough…
Nose : Starts sweet with candied apple on a stick. Burnt sugar and dark heavy peat smoke. Black tea and leather saddles hung In a Dunnage warehouse. Thick sweet balsamic and a hint of old port all inside a dusty sooty chimney. Oh my. That is a great start isn’t it?
Palate : A lovely melange of sweet ripe fruit, sweet Sugary smoky notes, wood smoke, some dates and dried Fig, bacon crisps and spicy wood. Sweet, spicy and smoky. Old leather… Stewed caramelized Apple sprinkled with sea salt. Lots of char, soot. It’s dark and very warm, can’t really put it into words, it feels cozy.
Finish : Cinnamon soot and peppery ash with chocolate covered nuts. A long finish.
My oh my. This is a brilliant piece of whisky blending. This is superb stuff no doubt. The right mix of the sweet, spicy and smoky notes, with a nose to die for, and a palate that is soothing, and enticing at the same time. I can sit hours with this dram, it is very complex no doubt, there’s something to discover every time you sniff and roll it under your tongue. Superb. I think head to head with the General this has to be one of the best whisky I’ve tried from Compass box. Highly recommended.