Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Whisky tasting: Compass Box

Sorry for the late notice - there will be two tastings of the Compass Box whiskies today (10/7/10) at Federal Wine and Spirits in downtown Boston. One tasting will be at 5:00 PM and the other at 6:00 PM.

Joe Howell at Federal never ceases to amaze, and this time he's brought in John Glaser, the founder and whisky-maker for Compass Box. John was a higher-up at Diageo for a while and then started his own whisky blending company, trying things others wouldn't. There were some bumps along the way...but he's pulled through and is now making some great concoctions. All of Compass Box's whiskies are either blended malts, blended grains, or just blends (malt and grain), but they tend to be rather singular and don't contain a large number of component whiskies.

Here's a list of what will be tasted, along with their retail prices at Federal, from Joe's email:

The Hedonism Maximus: Single Grain, very limited, comprised of 42 year old Invergordon and 26 year old Cameronbridge. Reg $299.99 Sale: $269.99

The Peat Monster Reserve: 1.75 L bottle, 48.9% ABV comprised of some Caol Ila and Ardmore, and rounded out with 2% Clynelish aged in French oak. Reg $154.99 Sale: $134.99

Asyla A 50-50 blend of malt whiskies from Linkwood, Glen Elgin, and Teaninich with grain whisky from Cameron Bridge all aged in first fill ex-bourbon casks and married together for up to a year. Carefully crafted to be a light, aperitif-style whisky. 40% ABV, not chill-filtered, no caramel coloring. Regularly: $44.99 Sale:$40.99

Hedonism 100% grain whisky from Cameron Bridge, Carsebridge, and Cambus aged in 1st fill ex-bourbon barrels or rejuvenated American oak hogsheads. Comprised of whiskies between the ages of 14 and 29 and bottled at 43% with no chill-filtration and no caramel coloring. Regularly: $104.99 Sale: $94.99

Oak Cross A vatted malt of Teaninich, Clynelish, and a distillery in Carron (perhaps Imperial) aged between 10 and 12 years in various American oak cask types and then married together in a mix of first-fill ex-bourbon barrels and custom American oak barrels fitted with French oak heads for a unique and mesmerizing flavor. Bottled at 43% ABV with no chill-filtration and no caramel coloring. Regularly: $53.99 Sale: $48.99

Peat Monster A vatting of malts from Ardmore, Caol Ila, and Laphroaig, the Peat Monster has a big burst of earthy, meaty peat balanced out by the sweetness of older Ardmore. All aged between 10 and 16 years in first-fill and refill American oak and married together before bottling. 46%, not chill-filtered, no caramel coloring. Regularly: $59.99 Sale: $53.99

Orangerie A blend of Highland malts and grain whisky from Fife, this is then infused with fresh, hand-zested Navalino orange peel, Indonesian cassia bark, and Sri Lankan cloves. 40% ABV, not chill filtered and with no caramel color. Regularly: $47.99 Sale: $42.99

Spice Tree A vatting of 10-12 year old malt whiskies, primarily Clynelish, aged in first-fill and refill American oak then vatted and racked into custom casks fitted with heavily toasted French oak heads and married for up to two years. Bottled at 46% ABV with no chill-filtration and no caramel coloring. Regularly: $74.99 Sale: $67.99

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