Arran 16 Years Old 1997 Cask#2 Marsala Finish ~ 46% (Berry Bros. & Rudd)

Arran 16yo BBR 1997

Arran 16 Years Old 1997 Cask#2 Marsala Finish ~ 46% (Berry Bros. & Rudd)

46% ABV, £63.95 available from The Whisky Exchange

Score: 75/100

Arran 16yo BBR 1997

What they say:

A 1997 vintage whisky from Arran, bottled by veteran spirits experts Berry Brothers and Rudd. This was bottled in 2013 at 16 years of age, having spent an unspecified period being finished in a cask which used to hold Marsala.

What I say:

Arran whiskies are like buses for me – you wait and wait for ages and then several come along at once. I guess this is the nature of a reasonable established distillery marking its age up the years. Soon we will be expecting another flurry of Arrans having reached the legal (well legal here in the UK) age to drink themselves. So roll on the 18 year olds… Whoa! wait – before that lest do some of the 16 and 17 year old expressions some justice. This here is a 16 year old 1997 vintage bottled in 2013 having spent some of its life finishing in a Marsala wine cask under the watchful gaze of the folks at Berry Bros.

Colour:

Yellow/amber gold

Nose:

Toffee and caramel, fruity peaches, putty/linseed oil, butterscotch, marzipan, fresh strawberry, tangerine, salty green olives, toffee apples, candy floss and toffee coated popcorn – all the scents of the fairground

Taste:

Salty and savoury, slight prickle of spicy nutmeg, burnt or over-caramelised toffee/sugar, engine oil with smoke, coffee and cocoa edging on bitterness

Finish:

Long butterscotch and toffee

Would I buy it again:

Possibly not. A very interesting dram all the same but I have been finding any Marsala cask finish whisky slightly unsavoury. Strange because I think my issue is the slightly savoury nature it imparts – it pretends to be umami and meaty but ends up like olives or nut loaf (it just isnae meat). There was a huge complexity to this dram and it really took me to the fairground with the diesel engined rides and candy floss and popcorn stalls overwhelming my nose. On tasting though, I felt like I fell out of the fairground and into the sea and came out with a green olive in my popcorn and seaweed on my toffee apple… Redeems itself on the finish but by then the damage was done. My instinctual score was a 75 but I later switched to 80 as it grew on me and I anticipated the initially unexpected. You’ll either love it or no.

Bunnahabhain 16 Years Old 1997 Heavily Peated #5512 ~ 50.3% (Signatory)

Bunna 1997 Peated bottle shot

Bunnahabhain 16 Years Old 1997 Heavily Peated #5512 ~ 50.3% (Signatory)

50.3% ABV, £79.95 available from Royal Mile Whiskies

Score: 84/100

Bunnahabhain 16yo Peated 1997 Signatory

What they say:

Distilled on 11/12/1997 and matured in a single hogshead cask #5512 this produced 285 bottles on outturn on 09/05/2014.

Tasting notes from the RMW staff

Nose: Heavy and rich with a sensible and enjoyable level of peat. Malty and sweetened butter notes breaking through.

Palate: Lots going on on the palate with an initial sweet brine and peat rush leaving a peppery mouthfeel and taste.

Finish: Dry, dusty chocolate

Overall: An interesting and enjoyable dram which scored highly in a blind tasting.

Bunna 16yo Peated 1997

What I say:

Every year Bunnahabhain switch over to distillation of spirit from a batch heavily peated malted barley (one would presume from the Port Ellen maltings on Islay, though mainland maltings will happily provide malted barley to similarly high phenolic ppm [peat levels in layman's terms]), a far cry from their usual pretty much un-peated standard malted barley. In fact I suspect most of the peat normally in Bunnahabhain expressions arises from the water source used rather than introduced when drying the malted barley. So this is what you get when Bunnahabhain produce a more traditional Islay style whisky.

Colour:

Amber gold

Nose:

Sweet honey and toffee, cereal malted barley, earthy and smoky peat

Taste:

Fruity apple and pear, honey, heather, butterscotch, toffee, oaty malty barley and lashings of firey peat smoke with a massively robust and chewy mouthfeel, some sea spray, brine and salt caramel

Finish:

Long, although the peat lingers to the finish it is so powerful up-front in the nose and palate you almost forget about it, but it does linger

Would I buy it again:

Yes! I still prefer the traditional ‘un-peated’ style of Bunnahabhain which they do so well, however this captures the essence of that and incorporates a healthy dose of peat smoke too. Rather than overpowering it feels more like drinking standard Bunna at a barbecue on an Islay beach bonfire with a cigar… nom nom nom… I would definitely recommend anyone try a peated Bunna (either the Toiteach official bottling or Indie bottlings like this one from Signatory) just to taste the difference.

As We Get It – Highland Whisky – 67.9% (Ian McLeod & Co. Ltd.)

AWGI bottle shot

As We Get It – Highland Whisky – 67.9% (Ian McLeod & Co. Ltd.)

67.9% ABV, £43.50 for 70cl available from Whisky Galore@ The Green Welly Stop, Tyndrum

Score: 84/100

800x1200-AWGI-Highland-8YO-58_9%25-vol_0

What they say:

‘As We Get It’

Single Malt Scotch Whiskies

‘Straight From The Cask’

A well-respected brand in Scotland, these unique and quirky Highland and Islay single malt Scotch whiskies are made the old fashioned way.

A ‘valuable’ addition to any whisky collection, ‘As We Get It’ is bottled straight from the cask in the traditional manner.

Unchillfiltered for a richer, smoother taste, both whiskies’ colour and strength change with each bottling, so no two bottlings are ever the same.

Traditional packaging complements the ‘As We Get It’ theme.

As We Get It 67.9%

What I say:

This is the 67.9% ABV / 119° proof Highland single malt which is lacking the ‘Aged 8 Years’ statement on the label.

Colour:

Dark amber ruby

Nose:

Christmas cake, fruity sherry, cocoa powder and strong dark chocolate

Taste:

(Requires water!) At 67.9% this is incredibly strong and overwhelms the palate; however a liberal dosage of water reveals Christmas cake or Christmas pudding, plum, cherry, fig, honey sweet, chocolate and cocoa almost a little bitter like mocha (chocolate/coffee)

Finish:

Medium long with deep fruits and cocoa powder

Would I buy it again:

Once diluted this is a cracker of a sherry bomb dram, most likely from Glenfarclas Distillery was the consensus opinion amongst those tasting it though this would assume that McLeod’s don’t make the distinction of Speyside being a specific sub-area of the Highland region. Regardless, this is highly alcoholic and massively influenced by the sherry-cask it was matured in; you can water this down a long way and still get plenty of flavour from this. Be very wary of drinking this ‘As You Get It’! Once diluted it is a very fine dram and I would be surprised if it wasn’t still 8 years old.

Gentleman Jack (Official Bottling)

Gentleman Jack and TWGC

Gentleman Jack (Official Bottling)

40% ABV, £30 for 70cl

Score: 83/100

gentleman-jack_0

What they say:

Just like Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey and Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel, Gentleman Jack is charcoal mellowed before going into the barrel. Gentleman Jack, however, receives an additional “blessing” when it is charcoal mellowed again after reaching maturity – making it the only whiskey in the world to be charcoal mellowed twice, giving it ultimate smoothness. Gentleman Jack is full-bodied with fruit and spices, and its finish is silky, warm, and pleasant. When you drink Gentleman Jack, do so with pride, for this is the whiskey a gentleman orders.

Gentleman Jack and TWGC

What I say:

Whiskey not whisky, today we are sampling Gentleman Jack, the twice charcoal mellowed expression from Jack Daniel’s Distillery in Tennessee. As part of our virtual world tour of whisk(e)y we sample some of Jack’s finest.

Jack Daniel's Sampler

Colour:

Amber gold

Nose:

Nail polish (old) acetone, wood furniture polish, gentle fruity oranges and apples, sweet honey

Taste:

Vanilla, coconut, orange oil, beeswax, honey, wood polish, incredibly smooth and almost watery feeling at first but given time this develops a depth and body

Finish:

Medium, sweet with oaky wood

Would I buy it again:

Yes, this is an excellent highly drinkable expression, much more refined and silky smooth than the Old No.7.

Ardbeg French Oak Cask (single cask sample)

Ardbeg stills

Ardbeg French Oak Cask (single cask sample)

~ 52-54% ABV / ~10-12 Years Old

Score: 93/100

Ardbeg stills

What they say:

The second of our single cask samples from Ardbeg was finished in French Oak. Much debate has raged over the ‘French Oak’ casks used for the part-maturation of Ardbeg Corryvreckan. Are these virgin French Oak casks, are they lightly or heavily toasted, or did they once contain a previous occupant – and if so what? So here is one of said famed French Oak cask matured samples!

Ardbeg plus 2

What I say:

We are very fond of the Ardbeg Corryvreckan here at The Whiskyphiles and quite partial to French oaked or even wine-finished whiskies in general. So what did we think of this single French Oak cask matured Ardbeg sample?

Colour:

Orange gold with hints of ruby  – slight presence of cask char

Nose:

Citrusy lemons, cognac, acetone hint,  toffee, butterscotch, orange curd, peaty and meaty with fresh sea surf

Taste:

Oily and waxy, sweet almonds and marzipan, sea salted caramel toffees, butterscotch cream fudge, salty sea spray, nutty, satay sauce, meaty (umami)

Finish:

Medium long oaky wood and delicate peat ember smoke

Would I buy it:

YES YES YES! Herein is the essence of Corryvreckan in its unaldulterated form. This is truly a thing of beauty. If anything, the Corryvreckan seems to have diluted and added spice, fruit and pepper to the above core whisky, strange considering the additive is bourbon cask finished (unless there is also some not-virgin French oak casks used in the mix?). Of all the whisky we tried on Islay this was quite probably the absolute best – sad that it wasn’t available to purchase as a standard Ardbeg bottling…

Aberfeldy 21 Years Old (Official Bottling)

Aberfedly 21yo Bottle and Box Old

Aberfeldy 21 Years Old (Official Bottling)

40% ABV, £90 for 70cl

Score: 85/100

Aberfeldy-21-bottle

What they say:

Launched in October of 2005, this 21 year old lies at the core of the Aberfeldy range and is something of a flagship for the brand. Recently re-branded as part of Aberfeldy Distillery’s move away from their old Red Squirrel logo – a hangover from their time as part of UDV’s Flora and Fauna Range.

What I say:

Aberfeldy 21 is their flagship dram; though most people will be more familiar with the 12 Year Old expression in their standard range. Currently Aberfeldy are going through a lot of revamp and rebranding including major alterations to their distillery to install a biomass generator, making their malt more environmentally friendly. Abefeldy Distillery (or Dewar’s World of Whisky) is well worth a visit and even more so now after their recent renovations to the visitor centre. We recently popped back up for a visit and a very detailed and educational whisky geek tour (as part of the May 2014 whisky month celebrations). The Aberfeldy range is expanding rapidly to include all sorts of special bottlings (similar to the Bruichladdich Valinch type range) and also exclusive visitor centre bottle your own/straight from the cask expressions also. More on those soon…

Colour:

Full gold, medium tears

Nose:

Orange marmalade, honey, fragrant oaky wood, heather, toffee, butterscotch, cereal barley malt, apple, banana (ester), fruity, cream

Taste:

Creamy toffee, thick and creamy oak wood, cereal barley malt, honey, smooth and silky butterscotch, clotted cream fudge

Finish:

Smooth medium/short

Would I buy it:

Aberfeldy 21 year old is a perfect smooth and silky dram with wonderful flavours of creamy toffee and honey. While I enjoyed sampling this, I wasn’t really blown away by it. The sherry and smoke influences I have heard others describe in this dram didn’t really make an appearance to me. Sadly it is so silky and smooth it is almost forgettable. While that is an achievement in itself, I prefer drams that make their presence felt with a much bigger impact than this. Incredibly refined it is a pleasure to dram but again I find myself lacking the willpower to commit to wanting a whole bottle. We were also spoilt with much more characterful Aberfeldy expressions during our visit which made the 21yo pale in comparison.

 

Kilchoman – Port Cask Matured Release

Kilchoman Port 1st Ed

Kilchoman – Port Cask Matured Release

We have some exciting news of a first from Kilchoman!

Kilchoman Port 1st Ed

This month we will release our first ever Port Cask Matured whisky, just 1000 cases (6) of the special edition release will be bottled..   The Port Cask Matured release, the first of its kind from the distillery, is fully matured in ex Ruby Port casks allowing for the full influence of the port casks to be imparted into the whisky.

The Port Cask Matured release is non chill-filtered and is natural colour. It is bottled at 55% ABV and will be available towards the end of August. RRP £68.

The Port Cask Matured has a mahogany colour with a touch of ruby. The nose is powerful with lemon and citrus notes and the palate has smoke right away along with sweet, nutty milk chocolate character. There is a heavy textured finish which drifts away to dry smoke with oakiness.

 

Thanks to Kilchoman Distillery

 

Read more about our single cask sample of this ~6 months prior to its bottling here: Water of Life Society 17/04/2014 – Kilchoman

Port Dundas 21 Years Old 1992 [Cask #HH9452] – The Clan Denny (Douglas Laing)

Port Dundas 21yo 1992 Douglas Laing

Port Dundas 21 Years Old 1992 [Cask #HH9452] – The Clan Denny (Douglas Laing)

55.7% ABV, £70 for 70cl

Score: 78/100

Port Dundas 21yo 1992

What they say:

CLAN DENNY
Old and rare Single Grain Scotch Whisky…

Our Clan Denny Single Grain bottlings are increasingly becoming firm favourites with Whisky enthusiasts around the globe.

We select only the finest casks which have been lying untouched in cold, dark and damp Scottish warehouses for many decades.

Typically our aged Single Grain whiskies have a deliciously sweet and distinctly fruity character as a result of many years in the finest oak casks during maturation.

What I say:

With all the furore around Grain whiskies and particularly aged Grain Whisky or on the other end of the spectrum ‘hip’ grain whisky that comes in an aftershave bottle and is pimped by some famous footballer (sadly all true…), I decided I should probably try some more. Thankfully I selected the former category and managed to get hold of a small number of samples from Port Dundas. Port Dundas on the outskirts of Glasgow used to produce just under 40 million litres of alcohol as part of the Diageo portfolio. The majority went to blends such as Johnnie Walker, J&B’s, Bells, Haig, Vat 69, Black & White and White Horse. Diageo shifted production of all its Grain whisky to Cameronbridge and  North British Distilleries, and Port Dundas was closed in 2010.

This particular example was distilled in 1992 and has spent 21 years maturing in a refill ex-bourbon hogshead and bottled at cask strength by Douglas Laing as part of their Clan Denny aged Grain Whisky portfolio

Colour:

Straw Gold with medium tears

Nose:

Banana, vanilla cream, foamy banana milkshake, coconut milk, cereal, fruit; apple, peach. orange, honey, lemon meringue pie and hints of bourbon

Taste:

Warming, thin but oily, spicy pepper, ginger and cinnamon and orange zest, cereal grains; wheat perhaps, banana, coconut, lemongrass, vanilla cream and milk

Finish:

Spiced, prickly, slightly drying but a small component of mouth-coating sweetness too, a little paradoxical and of medium length

Would I buy it:

Possibly not, this is one of the finest Scottish Grain Whiskies I have tasted but I am not sure I would want a whole bottle of this. Complex and interesting but a little spicy and thin and lacking in body and character that single malts bring. A multitude of vanilla, banana and coconut cream and even some almost direct from the cask Bourbon flavours in this reveal the true nature of its age – just leaves you with little to really chew on and get your teeth into… Still, to taste a piece of history was priceless and I would recommend anyone to try it, a beautiful addition to the Clan Denny range for sure.

 

Ardbeg Bourbon Cask (single cask sample)

Ardbeg Distillery and Me

Ardbeg Bourbon Cask (single cask sample)

~ 52-54% ABV / ~10-12 Years Old

Score: 84/100

What they say:

Ardbeg single cask sample, bourbon cask matured provided by Ardbeg Distillery

Ardbeg Distillery and Me

What I say:

Should have paid more attention at school! Too busy being distracted by the beautiful distillery and its surroundings during our whistle-stop tour. To make up for lack of tasting time (though to be fair we were provided with a dram of Uigeadail with lunch plus a dram of Galileo & Blasda after the tour) we were provisioned with 3 bottles of single cask samples all of the same ABV and Age (both of which I am wildly guessing at as I really can’t remember the exact details) however I am very sure they were each matured in either Bourbon, French Oak or Sherry casks; representative of the building blocks of both the Uigeadail [Bourbon + Sherry cask] or Corryvreckan [Bourbon + French Oak cask] expressions. I opted to sample them in the order Bourbon>French Oak>Sherry in an attempt to preserve my palate and expecting increasing influences of the casks used. This is what I thought of the Bourbon cask matured Ardbeg

Colour:

Very pale light straw gold, highly refractive (Paler than Ardbeg Blasda)

Nose:

‘High’ or sweet Acetone and estery like nail polish and over-ripe banana, malty and strongly lactic (aroma’s I more associate with Lagavulin but have come to recognize in Ardbeg –  with more malt than lactic [usually!]) vanilla and coconut cream, smoky ash

Taste:

Peaty, woody oak, malty yeasty marmite, nutmeg and cinnamon spice, brown sugar and toffee sweetness, peanut satay and coconut cream

Finish:

Long mixture of peat and oak with creamy coconut

Would I buy it:

Sadly not actually for sale, I really enjoyed this Ardbeg cask sample, the only drawback was the peat smoke on the nose had a slightly smoldering ash or dirty ashtray quality (more akin to Caol Ila peaty influence) though the palate and finish were sublime. If anything this sample was like a cask strength version of the ever-popular Ardbeg 10 Year Old expression. A very fine and solid dram with a more reserved mini-monster of peat influence, delicious.

Water of Life Society 30/04/2014 – Compass Box

hex logo din

Water of Life Society 30/04/2014

Compass Box

CBW-Hexagonal-Logo-Din-Black

WoLS Compass Box Aerial

This weeks EPIC (and final, no really final WoLS tasting of 13/14) tasting was hosted by Gregg Glass (@CompassBoxGregg). Assistant Whiskymaker & Whisky Ambassador at craft Scotch whiskymaker Compass Box Whisky Co.

 compass-box-great-king-streetweird-beard-holy-hoppin-hell

Compass Box Great King Street Artists Blend & Hauf n’ Hauf with Weird Beard Double IPA

43% ABV, Score: 74/100

Colour: Full Gold

Nose: Honey sweet, floral, toasted almonds/marzipan

Taste: very smooth vanilla, apple, sweet, slightly sour, grapefruit pith, oranges, light malty, peanut and almond flavours

Finish: Short, mellow, sweet then sour

WOLS Compass Box HnH

What Gregg said: Great King Street range of blends are purely grain and malt blends, non chilltiltered and vatted before bottling. GKS is constructed from a lot of Clynelish matured in both Bourbon and new French Oak casks and Teaninich matured in Sherry casks with a typical average age of around 9 to 11 years maturation. Approximately 45% of this blend is Girvan single grain although Gregg stated they usually use Cameronbridge Grain at around 11 years old. The story behind the super-hoppy IPA hauf’n’hauf Gregg claims was that’s what they were drinking when they came up with the GKS blend as a companion/chaser…

oakcross_bottle_box

Compass Box Oak Cross

46% ABV, Score: 84/100

Colour: Full amber gold

Nose: Apple, vanilla, oak wood, cereal barley malt

Taste: Honey and golden syrup sweetness, butterscotch, highland toffee, clotted cream fudge, but very light (not cloying) on the palate

Finish: Short, slightly spicy cinnamon

What Gregg said: Oak Cross is from Compass Box’s range of 100% vatted single malt blends. These primarily consist of a mixture of 3 malts: ~60% Clynelish, ~20% Dailuaine and ~20% Teaninich, matured mostly in 1st fill and refill Bourbon casks (again ~9 to 11 years matured) this constitutes their “Naked” pure malt blend. This is then re-casked after belnding to marry in either old Bourbon casks or new Toasted French Oak casks and left for a further year to marry and further mature in their new casks before bottling.  The French Oak casks are sourced from the Vosges forest region in France. In the following image you will see a sample of Naked blend next to the refill Bourbon cask stave on the left and a Toasted French Oak sample next to a pieces of French Oak displaying 3 different char levels of toasting – note the colour in the “F” French Oak matured blend.

IMG_0100

Compass box initially experimented with toasted French oak staves or blocks that were dropped into the blend in its new Bourbon cask during the marrying year. Unfortunately the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) took exception to this and stopped the practice. Now Compass Box have the marrying casks remade so that they use a refill Bourbon barrel with Toasted French Oak cask ends to create a hybrid marrying cask.

spicetree_bottle_box

Compass Box Spice Tree

43% ABV, Score: 84/100

Colour: Dark amber gold

Nose: Ginger and cinnamon, honey and golden syrup

Taste: Sweet toffee and honey, golden syrup, ginger, deeper notes of liquorice and high % cocoa chocolate

Finish: Spicy and lingers with a zesty grapefruit pith, slightly drying

What Gregg said: The Spice Tree all malt blend is essentially the same naked blend as Oak Cross above but this time matured in heavily toasted French oak. The original batches were made using the submerged French Oak staves in Bourbon casks. Gregg pointed out that not only do they source their French Oak directly but they have it air-seasoned (not kiln dried) for around 2 years and it is identical to the wood used by wine producers in the same region. Gregg also stated that typically around 6-15 casks minimum would be used to produce a batch of their all malt blends.

peatmonster_bottle_box

Compass Box Peat Monster

46% ABV, Score: 86/100

Colour: Full gold

Nose: Peanut, peat, reasonably sweet honey

Taste: Sweet peanut peat, smooth, Madagascan vanilla and coconut notes underneath

Finish: Warming peat, gentle reflux with  vanilla

What Gregg said: The Peat Monster is another all malt blend but this time a completely different set of single malts are used, also a minimum of 25-30 casks would be used per batch (possibly partly to match demand). The blend is made from ~ 20-28% Talisker, ~40% Laphroaig and ~10-14% either Ardmore or Ledaig. Previous batches had been constructed with around 46% Caol Ila replacing the Laphroaig but availability had changed – a situation they are hoping to reverse. Due to the fluctuation in availability Gregg explained that as a company they had taken the decision to start buying and maturing New Make from various (~5) distilleries and maturing them in 1st fill Buffalo Trace Bourbon Barrels. Buffalo Trace barrels give the best results as they have one of the best cooperage’s and the barrel to variation is minimal – giving consistent maturation results. Gregg sent round sprays of both Caol Ila peaty New Make and then 1 year old Caol Ila Matured in 1st Fill Bourbon cask, the difference was obvious with a reduction in the harshness of the peat and instant vanilla essence character taken on after maturation.

Hedonism-Box-Bottle

Compass Box Hedonism

43% ABV, Score: 85/100

Colour: Light Gold

Nose: Light and delicate Custard Cream biscuits

Taste: Smooth and light, Custard Cream biscuits, vanilla, cream, custard

Finish: Short with a little hint of spice

What Gregg said: Hedonism is an all grain blend, produced in small batches using only grain whisky matured in 1st fill ex-bourbon casks aged to around 19-26 years old before blending. Laser spray codes (L:number) should be found on each bottle indicating the day/month/year of each batch produced.

 expbatch-img2

Compass Box Great King Street Experimental Batch #TR-06

43% ABV, Score: 75/100

Colour: Gold

Nose: Vanilla, honey, wafts of peat smoke

Taste: Smooth vanilla cream slightly smoky peat

Finish: Medium sweet

What Gregg said: Both experimental GKS batches contain about 30% grain whisky (again GKS is a malt and grain blend), TR-06 contains ~33% Cameronbridge Grain and 26% Laphroaig giving a subtle vanilla and peaty flavour

Compass Box Great King Street Experimental Batch #00-V4

43% ABV, Score: 78/100

Colour: Gold with amber hints

Nose: Tannic and leathery – definite sherry influence

Taste: Fruity, sherry fizz, tannic but lacked a little depth/body

Finish: Medium, suede leather

What Gregg said: Again ~30% grain this consists of some sherry-matured malts – the most interesting and obvious suggestion was to mix these two experimental batched together to see what ratio’s provided the nicest balance between them. Obviously these split the room in terms of favourites but everyone agreed a little of each was probably required to get the best out of both.

PeatMonster10th-Bottle

Compass Box Peat Monster 10th Anniversary Park Avenue Edition Cask Strength

54.7% ABV, Score: 88/100

Colour: Full Gold

Nose: Peat smoke, apples, seaspray

Taste: Refined and mature, gentle peat, fruity apples, some vanilla and a little cereal malt balance this out with a little old oak wood

Finish: Long earthy peat smoke

What Gregg said: This 10th Anniversary edition of the Peat Monster was produced for Park Avenue Liqours in New York. This blend is made up from ~44% 10 year old Benrinnes – matured in sherry casks, 28% Cameronbridge Grain, ~2% Laphroaig, a little Teaninch 1st fill Bourbon cask matured and the remainder 7-8 year old Caol Ila similar to that used in the Eleuthera blend. The result is a more complex blend and slightly older overall composite compared to the standard Peat Monster expression.

asyla_bottle_box

Compass Box Peat Asyla

54.7% ABV, Score: 79/100

Colour: Gold

Nose: Sweet apples and vanilla

Taste: Malty cereal, vanilla custard, ‘grain’ whisky

Finish: Ethereal and light

What Gregg said: Asyla is the only grain/malt blend in the Compass Box Signature Range, this contains a high percentage of Grain whisky and Linkwood single malt. This particular expression was constructed using the “style equation” of drinker + occasion = whisky type. Asyla is designed as a “party” whisky perhaps for use in long drinks and cocktails to which it lends itself particularly well. Sadly after the Peat Monster 10th I was unlikely to rate this one too highly as I was blown away by the last!

WoLS Compass Box Lineup

In conclusion, so ends one of the most whisky-filled and information-packed tasting sessions of the WoLS year. A massive thanks to Gregg Glass and Compass Box (especially John Glaser their Whiskymaker) for a fantastic and educational evening.

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