After reviewing two blended malts from Compass Box let’s have a third blended malt review and one that has some high pedigree after being included in a high profile series. Yes, we’re talking about Cladach which is the blended malt that was included in Diageo Special Releases 2018 (2nd year in a row with a blended malt for Special Releases).
Cladach means shoreline/coastline and the whisky uses only single malts made at Diageo coastal distilleries: Inchgower, Clynelish, Talisker, Oban, Caol Ila and Lagavulin.
It was bottled at cask strength of 100 proof (57.1%) and was matured in an assortment of casks (first fill bourbon, refill, refill sherry butts).
Cladach Blended Malt (57.1%, £152/€134,99)
Nose: The nose here starts with gentle peat smoke and then slowly it develops into a pure coastal whisky with brine, sea breeze, salt, some wax, lemon, brioche, white pepper. Also show up: smoked fish and seafood, pears. Continue reading
Along with the new release of The Story of the Spaniard, Compass Box also released their 6th edition of Flaming heart, the follow up to the very successful and tasty 5th edition released back in 2015.
Compass Box Flaming Heart 6th edition recipe
Most of the major ingredients that were part of the great 5th edition, are in the 6th edition as well, albeit with different proportions and ages (want to know the ages? contact Compass Box and they will tell you!) and there’s a subtle sherry cask influence that was not presents in 2015 edition but in the 2012 edition.
15,050 standard bottles and 800 large magnums were made, all bottled at 48.9% and as usual are non chill filtered and with natural color.
So how this new 2018 recipe stands up to the 2015 edition?
Compass Box Flaming Heart 6th Edition (48.9%, £114/€129.95/$124.99)
Nose: A no-miss Caol Ila and Clynelish notes, soft, clear and crisp peat, gentle smoke, sweet wax, a dash of lemon, pears, malt, minerals. After a few minutes, subtle waxy red fruit sweetness. Continue reading
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:
The Story of the Spaniard recipe
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.
Compass Box The Story of the Spaniard (43%, £49.95/€44.95/$54.99)
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. Continue reading
Along with No Name I reviewed yesterday, there was another interesting and engimatic Compass Box release coming out last year called Phenomenology with the slogan “Phenomenology – There’s No Right or Wrong”.
Phenomenology is a school of thought in psychology that focuses on
phenomena, or, the experiences that we get from our senses–what we
see, taste, smell, etc. It is a way of thinking about ourselves and the
very personal, subjective nature of experience.
True to its name, when Phenomenology was initially released, it was an enigmatic whisky with no recipe nor official tasting notes released, but it’s been months since the release and by now we do have the recipe information:
It doesn’t happen too often that you get to see Glenlossie and Tamdhu as the main ingredients of a whisky costing £150.
Compass Box Phenomenology (46%, 7908 btls, £143/€147.5)
Nose: Fruity pears, apples, salt and subtle peat smoke, sweet oak spices, fizzy minerals, sour hard candies.
When Compass Box released No Name last October, there was a lot of buzz around it. It is the peatiest whisky ever from Compass Box with 75.5% of it hailing from Ardbeg. Take into account that the Ardbeg portion carries an unpublished but still obtainable (via email) age statement that wasn’t seen from indie Ardbegs in ages (although recently a few indie Ardbegs popped up with similar age) and you can see why people were enamored by it. And let’s not forget the sexy black presentation and the added wink in the form of the ‘No Name’ name.
So the large portion in this blended whisky, 75.5% comes from Ardbeg (from re-charred barrels,) 10.6% comes from Caol Ila (refill barrels), 13.4% from Clynelish (re-charred hogsheads) and measly 0.5% of Compass box Highland malt blend (which is 60% Clynelish and 20% of both Dailuaine and Teaninich) finished in Compass Box’s heavy toasted French Oak hybrid cask for 6 months.
15,000 bottles were produced, bottled at 48.9% without added color or chill filtering.
Compass Box No Name (48.9%, £98.00/€98,90)
Nose: Very clean peat, lemon and lime, lots of smoke and a bit of tar. Quite fatty with oil wax, fruitiness lead by pears, red apples and some peaches. Continue reading
I’ve realized that once again life and work consumes most of my time in the last few weeks, leaving almost no free time to work on the blog. But I think that going for a quick and down to earth review mode may help building the momentum again.
Let’s get festive with the latest Douglas Laing Christmas Edition of Big Peat. This series has been going for a few years already and always provided a good value.
Big Peat Christmas 2017 (54.1%, £53.95/€52,95)
Nose: Young and malty. Then sweet peat with gentle smoke, honey, some Ardbeg fruitiness, pears. Getting smokier after a while with newly developed ashes note. Continue reading