I will admit this was an impulse purchase! I was picking up something else and my eye spotted this new expression from Compass Box. So I took a deeper look and went – yup! Sounds like this just might be a blend up my alley!
I had notions of sweetness and light, a burst of orchard fruits… reflecting in the glass what was inspired by the bottle…. and?
Compass Box Orchard House 46%
- Nose – Fresh pineapple, tobacco leaf, almond paste, much shyer than expected, bit of candle wax… after more time a hint of vanilla
- Palate – Tobacco and tea, malt and spice, ginger and biscuits, smoke alongside fruit
- Finish – An echo of the palate, white pepper
Well, this isn’t just sweetness and light… there is more at play here. I was anticipating something much fruitier, juicy, and full… however there is something ‘rougher’ and a bit ‘tougher’ involved. Perhaps it is the influence of that tiny bit of Caol Ila (read more below) or something else… Once I set aside the preconceived idea of a frothy fruity dessert-like concoction, I could settle down to experience it for what it is.
Reading through the blend elements, the different dimensions play their role.
What do the folks at Compass Box have to say?
Fruit-forward & spirit-driven
Orchard House gathers together some of the fruitiest malts Scotland has to offer, including whiskies from the Linkwood and Clynelish distilleries; what’s more, we have sourced many of these whiskies as new spirit and laid them down in our own oak casks. This, our monument to fresh fruitiness in Scotch whisky, has been many years in the making.
As for the official tasting notes, Compass Box share this:
- Aromas of apple and pear dominate, with hints of pineapple, lemon and lime zest, and Earl Grey tea.
- Take a sip and note the malty and gingery flavours. These are soon joined by honey, wild strawberries and vanilla shortbread.
What more do we know?
The good folks at Compass Box revealed what they can with these insights into the blending composition:
- 39% – The Linkwood Distillery Single Malt, First Fill Bourbon Barrel – Apple Blossom, Vanilla
- 29% – The Clynelish Distillery Single Malt, First Fill Bourbon Barrel – Apple, Wax, Honey
- 20% – The Benrinnes Distillery Single Malt, First Fill Bourbon Barrel Single Malt – Fudge, Apples, Malt
- 8% – Distillery near the town of Aberlour, Single Malt, Revatted Oloroso Sherry-Seasoned Butt – Red Apple, Sultana, Malt
- 2% – Highland Malt Blend, Custom French Oak Barrel – Heavy Toast Blended Malt – Chocolate, Cinnamon, Ginger
- 2% – The Caol Ila Distillery Single Malt, First Fill Bourbon Barrel – Smoke, Almond, Vanilla
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