Friday, July 5, 2019

Compass Box Dance

Preface/Disclaimer: I’m generally not a fan of blended whiskeys but John Glaser’s compass box company is certainly not a norm blender, nor it is ever shy to break a norm or to stick a middle finger up to the whiskey regulatory body, just look up the story of “Last Vatted Malt” or any number of their whiskey releases that are tongue in cheek (middle finger) to the Man. I’ve tried a number of them and across the board they are all excellent. I briefly touched on 5th and Harrison blend in the past review https://www.klwines.com/p/i?i=1266230 and will presently proceed though the taster box I’ve acquired a while back that showcases some of the core bottles of the company (though there are plenty of others so do give them a try). Another disclaimer: the overall taste tends to slightly shift batch to batch as the blend mix isn’t consistent but more of a theme.

example link: https://www.thewhisk … -miniature-gift-pack

Missing notes for: Asyla and Spice Tree somehow….

Hedonism:
I recall it being better few years ago. It’s still light and tasty, but my taster has a little bit of orange zest (or grapefruit) bitterness to it and i seem to recall tasting it same in a bar not too long ago. It used to be much more like candy, sweet and light, this is certainly more balanced, but if anything it reminds me of glenmorangie original 10 than the old glory. Certainly hedonistic in a sense of a complicated mix of light and interesting flavors that need to be taken apart at length to understood but not quite right for me. This is mostly a blend of single grains whiskeys and does vary batch to batch. A more recent batch with high percentage of Cameronbridge is very much taken up its character so it’s very much butter cookies or perhaps almond butter vanilla cookies. My palate did evolve somewhat in the last 10sh years so light and sweet it is, but I would have liked more sherry influence myself.
Score: N/A

Oak Cross:
Oh baby! Now we’re talking. Tasty, sweet, clean aftertaste, no bitterness. Vanilla galore (hello oak), little peppery and a drying at the end, this goes all over the place in terms of flavor without losing its goal of showcasing oak barrels and dropping the experience out in the middle of the taste ride. Certainly an subtle set of flavors but what a set it is. This is not one to punch you in the face but more of a snuggle into the favorite silk comforter.
Score: N/A

Peat Monster:
Do you like peat and light flavors? If so then this is one for you! Peaty, briny and almost astringent on the nose yet somehow managing to be light and sweet on the palate. The name of Monster belies a surprising mix, almost a conflict, of nose and palate. This is certainly an example of a lighter side of peated whiskeys if on the tongue, while punching above its weight on the nose. Quite a recommended for peated whiskey introduction, but then again Lagavulin 16 is an excellent into in on its own while being much meatier by itself. Where Hedonism had that little spice in the end but without anything to back it up, this one is certainly much more balanced experience. Adding a teeny-tiny drop of a sherry bomb single malt elevates this for me into ‘great whiskey’, but I’m a self-admitted occasional fan of sherried peat
Score: N/A

Laphroaig Cairdeas
I’ve made no secret out of not really liking peated whiskeys with a special dislike reserved for ‘pure, heavily peated’ versions, as exemplified by Kilchoman and young Laphroaig… BUUUT I’ve come to an interesting conclusion, that peat plus sherry is a combination that I generally enjoy if done right with sherry sweetness balancing the peat brine. (Different discussion but Ardbeg Uigeadail from few years back was quite enjoyable winter drink). So that brings me to Cairdeas at hand, and I have to admit it… but I like it. It’s not quite the best thing for me, but for what it tries to do was enjoyable enough, sorta of a salty/sweet and quite ‘balanced’ flavor where I wouldn’t mind picking up a bottle when I run out of my next Lagavulin 16 bottle and I had to pick between the two of them at the same price point. (Sorry not many tasting notes here, it’s been a few weeks, writing from memory).

https://www.klwines.com/p/i?i=1371733
Score: N/A