Sometimes a treat comes to town… this time in the form of the newly launched Compass Box “The Story of the Spaniard” whisky!
Compass Box announced this will join their core range, likely with some variation on a sherry theme in future editions – yet all blends will be anchored by Spanish casks – be it sherry wine or a sherry-like wine.
So what did we find in our introduction to this latest Compass Box blend?
The Story of the Spaniard 43%
- Nose – Lemon, citrus, anise, subtle, clean, then reveals darker fruits, a hint of cherries under a bright spice
- Palate – Spice, initially gives a sense of being a bit brash and young, then on second sip, reveals a delicate balance, warm sweet spices, something a bit deeper almost resinous… Sip again and that spice comes roaring to the fore… and then again it is subdued…
- Finish – Warming spice
In our first brush with the Spaniard, none of us were tempted to add water. However I was fortunate a bit remained with an opportunity to revisit another day… This time also sampling with a large round cube of ice, slowly melting into the whisky.
Transformed! While normally my default sipping style is need or with a few drops of water, for The Spaniard, I would suggest also trying with a bit of ice. In this second foray, I found:
- Nose – Retains the citrus yet shifts to more of a mandarin orange and a hint of hazelnut, more dark red wine than typical Christmasy sherry notes
- Palate – A delight. The wine-like quality emerges more, with some tannins and a light bitterness, with a sweet citrus twist
- Finish – The bitterness remains with sweet spices
Like all Compass Box blends, the details are disclosed – including that it is not chill filtered and natural colour. For the first release, the recipe is:
- 40% was aged in 1st fill Sherry butt using a malt whisky near Aberlour
- 25% in ex-Spanish red wine casks with malt whisky from Teaninich
- 15% highland blend (Clynelish, Dailuaine, Teaninich) further matured in hybrid french oak cask with a heavy toast
- Then a combination of 8% refill sherry butt and 7% refills hogshead from Deanston, 5% re-charred barrels with malt from Glen Elgin.
And what do the folks at Compass Box have say about it?
You will find a whisky that is full, soft and sumptuous on the palate with flavours of citrus peel and pears poached in red wine and spices. It’s a whisky ideal for late evening sipping or stirring into a cocktail.
Worth trying? Absolutely!
And for those curious to track it down, I understand it should be available in India shortly through The Vault Fine Spirits.
Other Compass Box core range?
- Great King Street Artist’s Blend 43%, Glasgow Blend 43%, Experimental Batch (Sept 2013) 43%
- Hedonism 43% + Whisky Ladies 2017 revisit
- Oak Cross 43%
- Spice Tree 46% + Extravaganza Special Edition (Aug 2016) 46%
- The Peat Monster 46% + Whisky Ladies 2017
You can also find Whisky Lady in India on: