It has been awhile since I’ve sat down with a Compass Box blend… more than two years! And this opportunity came completely unexpectedly.
It was an August evening in Mumbai where a few of us from our original tasting group re-united for a special evening. I’d intended to simply share what I had recently opened during that trip. However to my very pleasant surprise, one of our lovely tasting companions came with three unique bottles for us to experience – what fun!
What did we think?
Compass Box Enlightenment 46%
- Nose – A bit shy at 1st then blooms, has blown candles, waxy, honey, tobacco leaf, green peppercorn, black vanilla pod, lemon, fragrant – lightly floral and fruity
- Palate – Good an spicy, lots of character, powerful, waxy and oily… the spice tamed… and softened into fruitiness – now more berry than apple or citrus, underneath it more of that delicate floral almost herbal quality
- Finish – Fruity honey
We tasted it blind and began speculating about the cask – could it be French oak 1st fill? American? And where was the spice coming from? Was it a single malt or something else? Ah.. we were definitely having more questions than answers until the reveal!
And what a reveal – you have to appreciate Compass Box commitment to transparency – pushing the boundaries of what is permitted.
I brought a couple samples back with me to Germany, forwarded on to Paris to revisit some evening – hopefully in the not to distant future.
Here is what John Glaser has to say about Enlightenment:
Inspired by the writers, philosophers and scientists of the Age of Enlightenment it sets out to encourage the industry to consider the absurdity of a system that prevents producers from telling consumers exactly what has gone into the whiskies they are drinking.
And of course the whisky itself is something rather special. A blend of fruity, fragrant Highland Single Malt Scotch Whiskies, it is bursting with aromas of fresh orchard fruit, flavours of vanilla, soft spice and pear and an alluring apple peel waxiness on the finish. An uplifting, enlightening whisky with which to ponder the world of Scotch not only as it is but also as it could be.
What’s the recipe?
- 48.2% Clynelish 1st fill American standard barrel – Bright apple, waxiness
- 36.7% Glentauchers 1st fill American standard barrel – Fruity, herbal
- 10.8% Balblair 1st fill American standard barrel – Perfumed, bright
- 4.3% Mortlach rejuvenated American standard barrel – Muscular, weighty
And the official tasting notes?
Fresh, vibrant and uplifting with a mouthfeel that is moreish and mouth-watering. On the nose you will find bright apple and pear, vanilla cream and light violet; on the palate soft spice, gentle citric notes and more of that uplifting orchard fruit character.
Enlightenment is a limited edition blend bottled in April 2016 with 5,922 bottles. As for the price? Hard to say as it isn’t so readily available now.
What else did we try that evening?
- Kamet Single Malt 42.8%
- Glentauchers 8 year (2005 / 2013) 48.2%
- James Eadie 2017 56.6%
- Macallan Estate Reserve 45.7%
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