Blended Scotch and Malt Compass Box Highlands Region Scotland

Compass Box The Spice Tree

Review of The Spice Tree, Highland blended scotch from the eclectic Compass Box.

Origin: Highlands (Scotland)
Type: Blended Malt Scotch Whisky
Gradation: 46%ABV
Ageing barrels: Ex-Bourbon First Fill and Refill, American and French Toasted Oak
Chillfiltered: No
Added coloring: No
Owner: Compass Box Whisky Co.
Average price: € 65.00
Official website: www.compassboxwhisky.com
Vote: 88/100

Some time ago we featured an interview with Distiller by John Glaser, founder and mastermind of Compass Box, a whisky bottler and producer based in Chiswick, west London.
This is a company with a very particular vision of whisky, which has also produced controversial bottlings and the associated headaches caused by the Scotch Whisky Association for going outside the box.

Notably, this The Spice Tree had to cease production in its first version in 2005, as part of its maturation took place in specially made barrels with French oak inserts, which is against SWA regulations.
John Glaser didn’t give up, and in 2009 he returned to producing the label with a slightly different recipe: blending whiskies from Clynelish, Dailuaine and Teaninich (60%, 20% and 20% respectively), matured separately in ex-Bourbon first fill and refill casks, brought together and separated again to mature for 2 years in four different casks (one ex-Bourbon first fill and three they call “hybrid”, i.e. American oak casks with a French oak “head” of different degree and type of toast), finally bottled for trade, with each batch slightly different from the previous one undergoing no added colouring or chillfiltration.
It must be said that a battle is still going on between Compass Box (with the support of Bruichladdich) and the Scotch Whisky Association over the total transparency in the composition of the blends, which according to the association isn’t in line with the regulations.

The colour is a beautiful amber.
On the nose there’s a pronounced aroma of old wood, accompanied by vanilla, cloves and a notable nutmeg component. Enveloping and warm, very pleasant.
The cuddly warmth is also to be found on the palate, where the whisky flows smoothly with its distinct spiced cake vocation, with the addition of cinnamon and salted butter. The alcohol content provides just the right amount of envelopment, well accompanied by the softness of the aromas, while the wood becomes an elegant suggestion. Shortbread in the background.
Medium/long finish of spices, vanilla and salted butter.

Elegant and smooth, I would almost say relaxing, a whisky that refreshes the spirit and lifts the mood. Mention must be made of the label, but those of Compass Box are always particular and refined.

Other bottlings in the blog:
Compass Box Juveniles
Compass Box The Peat Monster
Compass Box The Story of the Spaniard

Other perspectives:
The Whiskey Wash

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