The new Compass Box Enlightenment whisky is another step in their campaign for Scotch Whisky transparency which follows the uproar that accompanied their previous releases.
In case you forgot, when Compass Box released Flaming Heart 5th edition and This is Not a Luxury Whisky in late 2015, they also included the full recipe for the whiskies including the whiskies ages. However, seems like it was breaking UK and EU regulations and therefor, following a request/pep-talk from SWA, the ages we removed from the website and the marketing materials and the new Soctch Whisky transparency campaign was launched with other distilleries backing it up (like Bruichladdich).
This is what John Glaser and Compass Box has to say on Enlightenment:
Inspired by the writers, philosophers and scientists of the A ge of
Enlightenment it sets out to encourage the industry to consider the
absurdity of a system that prevents producers from telling consumers
exactly what has gone into the whiskies they are drinking.
A worthy cause if you ask me! Yes, I’m an avid supporter of this campaign and totally for full information transparency. Here’s the ingredients list of the whisky, albeit without the ages (but I hope Mr. Glaser would tell you if you meet him):
So what do we have here? Clynelish making up the bulk of this whisky, 59% Highlands whisky and 41% Speyside whisky. As usual with Compass Box whiskies, it’s not chill-filtered and with natural colour and 5,922 bottles were made.
Compass Box Enlightenment (46%, £59.45/€64,95)
Nose: Strong waxy note at first (from the Clynelish), vanilla, some muted oak spices that smells like they stop the sweetness in its track, floral edge and then it’s mostly soft oak spices. After a while the sweetness is back along with some green bark.
Palate: Rounded, richer than the nose hints at, wax, honey, oak spices with nutty edge, green tea, soft, ends with greenery perfume.
Finish: Medium length, soft bitter oak spices and honey.
Thoughts: As usual with Compass Box releases, it’s a very decent blended malt, but I don’t think it will bring you a real enlightenment (let’s keep that to the rare occasions when you have a breakthrough or find “The General” bottle for retail price 😉 ). Even though, I enjoyed it a lot and I think it will be a lovely company during meals. And don’t forget to support Scotch Whisky Transparency however you can!
(Official sample provided by Compass Box)