Yesterday it was Compass Box Juveniles day and today we review the other whisky released on the same day – Stranger & Stranger.
Just like Juveniles, ‘Stranger & Stranger’ is a whisky release with some external entity in mind and this time it’s the ‘Stranger & Stranger’ – the package design company that Compass Box has been working with for the last decade.
this blended spirit (spirit, not whisky and it’s no mistake) has a unique recipe, 99% is a classic scotch single malt and 1% is a very young malt/wheat spirit which didn’t hit the required 3 year old barrier to be called whisky:
4,802 bottles at 46% were produced and it’s interesting to see how the combination with the young spirit affects the liquid (if at all).
Compass Box ‘Stranger & Stranger’ (46%, £148.95/€169,90/$199.99)
Nose: Honey and wax, yellow plums and pears, very fruity with rich fruit juice. dusty (or perhaps powdery), very dense and intense for 46% whisky. After a short while even some tropical fruits, nutmeg, becoming orchard with added floral side to the fruitiness. Continue reading
Just before 2018 closed down, Compass Box released to the markets (in time for x-mas of course) a set of two whiskies: ‘Juvenils’ and ‘Stranger & Stranger’.
Juveniles is a whisky released in collaboration with Juveniles Bistrot à Vins (residing in the 1st Arrondissement of Paris). Tim Johnston, the owner of Juveniles, asked Compass Box to create something:
“…bright, smooth, not smoky…an assemblage perhaps between 12 and 15 years old…”
Below you can see the recipe for Juveniles. While the components age are not exposed here (you can email Compass Box and ask them for the info!) you could say that the age average is indeed between 12 and 15 year old:
Total of 14,894 bottles were produced and as usual the whisky is non chill-filtered and comes at natural color.
Nose: Sweet honey, wax and vanilla, feels quite spirity – a bit surprising considering the malts age and composite but we should remember that age isn’t everything in whisky. Green peaches and pears, brioche with canned fruit. After a few minutes it gets dryer with oak spice but also getting notes of grass and meadow. Continue reading
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