Last month Compass Box introduced a new permanent release in their core range called The Story of the Spaniard. In the official press release there’s a nice story about John Glaser and his experiences while traveling in south Spain and this is the result – a blended malt of Highland malt whiskies aged in Spanish Sherry and Spanish red wine casks and some ‘standard’ (by Compass Box standards at least) casks to balance it all. Here’s the recipe as officially published by Compass Box:
As you can see, in this initial batch (bottled June 2018), 48% of the whiskies have been aged in ex-Sherry casks and 25% in ex-Spanish red wine casks and a heavy dose from Deanston distillery and Compass Box unique Highland malt blend. If you want more details like exact distilleries and whiskies ages, just contact them and ask.
The Story of the Spaniard was bottled at 43%, but it wasn’t chill filtered and no caramel was added.
Nose: Soft and rich, red wine tannins, malt pudding, strawberries and raspberries, soft spiciness with oak spice, white pepper and cinnamon. Honey cake and after a while a big coating of citrus peels.
Palate: Spicy and honeyed, oak spice, cinnamon, white pepper, almost bitter citrus peels, maltiness, ,dry, red wine tannins and red berries in the background.
Finish: Short medium length, lingering subtle spices, honey and red fruit and orange sweetness, drying tannins.
Thoughts: From a professional blending point of view it’s a great piece of work. I’m finding myself more often than not really admiring the results of Mr Glaser’s concoctions and The Story of the Spaniard falls in that category with a brilliant balance between the sherried, wine-d and ‘standard’ whiskies. The whisky itself is an easy going, smooth (yeah…) and quite tasty daily drinker with just enough wine impact, fruitiness and subtle sherried notes. Good one.