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Whiskymag 137 July _Aug 2016

Compass Box Scotch Whisky

Compass Box is a specialist Scotch whisky company that are devoted to making some of Scotland's premier whiskies through the art of blending.


Compass Box Whisky Signature Range

Peat Monster Blended Malt Whisky

Oak Cross Blended Malt Whisky

Spice Tree Blended Malt Whisky

Asyla Malt & Grain Blended Scotch Whisky

Great King Street Blended Scotch Whisky

Limited Release

Hedonism Scotch Grain Whisky,


Working like fine wine negociants they choose individual casks of whiskies from different distilleries that offer complementary sets of flavours, and then carefully blend these casks in small batches to make our proprietary whiskies.  


They bottle a range of types of Scotch whisky: malt whiskies, grain whisky, malt & grain blends.  But at the core of everything is a desire to bring out a purity of flavour, richness and drinking experience that will call you back to the glass.  To me, this latter point is the true measure of a whisky's quality.


Their whiskies have unusual names like THE PEAT MONSTER and HEDONISM, and the labels are contemporary in style. It's all part of their vision: taking a contemporary approach to a traditional product.


Compass Box Scotch Whisky Limited Editions

Flaming Heart

Great King Street New York

Last Vatted Malt


Retired Range

Big Block (Private Customer 25 Bottles)

Canto Casks.   A range of 16 single cask, cask-strength Scotch malt whiskies. Each cask held the same malt whisky, but for the last 18 months the whiskies were aged on a range of different new oaks, both French and American, in a variety of different toasts

Double Singles (Private Customer)

Double Single 10 Anniversary


Elixir (Private Customer)

Flaming Heart 10 Anniversary

Hedonism 10 Anniversary

Hedonism Maximus


Last Vatted Grain

Magic Cask

Marrage (Belguim Customer) Marrage - Asyla/Eleuthera (France)

Monster (USA Private Customer)

Morpheus (2007 London)

Optimism (2009 Whisky Live London)

The Spice Tree Cask Strength (2009 Whisky Live Paris)


Compass Box Hand crafted whiskies

Peat Monster Compass Box Blended Malt Whisky

Type: Vatted Malt (a blend of single malts from different distilleries)


Tasting Notes: The aroma is a highly aromatic combination of fruit, spice and marine peatiness in the form of a beach bonfire. Adding water brings out aromas that remind you of burning ropes and a touch of iodine. In the mouth it is very full on the palate, rich and loaded with flavour: a bacon-fat smokiness, full-blown peat, a maltiness, hints of fruit and spice. The finish goes on seemingly forever, echoing peat and smoke for several minutes after you've had a sip.


Lead Distilleries: Caol Ila, 10 & 11 years-old; Ardmore, 12-17 years-old


Casks: First Refill American oak, ex-bourbon


Bottling Details: 46%, not chill filtered, natural colour


Drinking Recommendations: More of an after dinner and into-the-late-hours-of-the-evening-type of whisky. Drink it neat or with a few splashes of (bottled, preferably) water. Excellent with certain kinds of blue vein cheeses.


John's Notes: This one's for the real peat heads, and for lovers of complex, multi-layered malt whisky. What makes it fit into the Compass Box house style is the balance of richness and subtle sweetness that the old casks of Ardmore provide to the smoky-peaty Caol Ila. As with all our whiskies, several months of marrying allow all the flavours of each of the whiskies to knit together to form what is our biggest and most complex offering. Not over the top, (that's just not our style), but big, complex and balanced.


Oak Cross Compass Box Blended Malt Whisky

Here is Compass box at its most inventive. Taking the soft, sweet, vanilla – tinged character from whisky aged in American oak casks provide and combining the complex character that aging with best quality French Oak they have created they have created a cask to acquire the best of both.


This has been achieved by combining American Oak bodies with French Oak Heads. After several months in casks of this type the whiskies took on a lovely, subtle extra layer of flavour. Now know as Oak Cross casks.


Oak Cross is a vatted malt from the Highland region whiskies Led by Teaninich and balanced with malts from the village of Brora (for fruitiness) and Carron (for weight) all the whiskies are primary aged approximately for 10 years in a mix of American Oak cask types.


Then carefully married in a mix of first fill American Oak and the “Oak Cross” casks (combined American and French Oak).


Tasting Notes~ A soft palate, with flavour notes of clove and vanilla, accenting to a sweet maltiness and subtle fruit character. Its medium weight, with along finish echoing hints of vanilla and clove.


Asyla Malt & Grain Blended Scotch Whisky

With just a splash of chilled water, this blend of soft, sweet grain whiskies and elegant, refined malt whiskies epitomises “deliciousness” in the world of Scotch whisky.


The secret to making Asyla is the quality of the casks. Compass Box only use whiskiesaged in first-fill American oak casks because these yield whiskies with more vanilla character, more richness and more sweetness than refill casks.

There is no other blended Scotch whisky on the market that uses whiskies of this quality. Also, there are few blended Scotches that use 50% malt whisky as Compass Box does (all unpeated malt whiskies). The result is a carefully crafted, elegant Scotch whisky that makes the perfect aperitif.


Flavour Descriptors

Sweet, delicate and very smooth on the palate, with flavours of vanilla-cream, cereals and a subtle apple-like fruit character.


Great King Street Malt & Grain Blended Scotch Whisky

Great King Street is the brand new mission from Compass Box; a mission to get people to rediscover the joys of Blended Scotch. Bottled at 43%, Great King Street will offer a style and approach to Blended Scotch that has not existed before: using a high proportion of malt whisky (about 50%), truly excellent quality grain whiskies, and the careful use of new French Oak aging for added complexity. All bottled at a natural colour and without chill-filtering. The style is rich, round and fruity with hints of toasty oak, vanilla and spice. The name and label are inspired by Compass Box's registered office address - 24 Great King Street, in Edinburgh


Hedonism Scotch Grain Whisky, Limited Release

Hedonism bottled once or twice per year, depending on Compass Box’s  ability to source the quality of casks required. Rare and old, it’s something special for the collector or the new whisky enthusiast.


Hedonism is unusual in the Scotch whisky world: a 100% Scotch grain whisky. It is very rare to see 100% grain whisky bottling, even in Scotland. Going back 100 years, grain whisky brands were more common, but they were overtaken in popularity by the big brands of blended Scotch, which comprised both grain whisky and malt whisky. Today, most Scotch grain whisky gets blended into the big brand names, typically at young ages. For Hedonism, Compass Box search for very old casks of Scotch grain whisky, typically over 20 years in age.


Flavour Descriptors

Elegant flavours of vanilla cream, toffee, coconut.

Creators of Hand Crafted,

Small Batch Scotch Whiskies in Distinctive & Original Styles