Compass Box Blends…

My partner will sometimes introduce me as a ‘Single Malt Snob’… he does so with great affection and humour, knowing I’m far from snobbish in life but am particular about my whiskies.

It does highlight a perception that an old single malt MUST be good whereas a blended whisky MUST be rubbish.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

While there are some absolutely stunning single malts… there are equally some rather good blends.

And the folks over at Compass Box are out to prove you should pay attention to well crafted blended whiskies. They keep surprising whisky watchers with their creative approach and beautiful marriage of art and science.

They also set in motion a movement for transparency after being told to stop disclosing the component whiskies that go into their blends.

They aren’t demanding others mandatorily disclose what goes into that whisky you love so much… they are simply asking for the right to share with consumers what goes what they create.

Hard to argue with such an approach but they have a fight on their hands… read more here.

Compass Box Juveniles sampled at La Maison du Whisky (Whisky Lady)

Juveniles sampled at La Maison du Whisky (Whisky Lady)

Living in India means either sampling these blends outside of the country or depending on a whisky club member to source and bring into the country…

Through both approaches, have enjoyed til date seven Compass Box blends:

Compass Box Trilogy

Anyone have a favourite Compass Box blend? Or another blended whisky?

From time to time, you can also find other whisky related updates and activities on:

Compass Box – Asyla 40%

I’m in love with a beautiful woman… and her name is Asyla.

And who exactly is she? Another captivating Compass Box  blend…

Asyla was named for the plural of asylum, playing on the word’s ambiguous character – sanctuary or madhouse. John Glazer, whisky maker, waxes poetical about a piece of musical inspiration and reflects on whether whisky, like music, can be an asylum… as he describes his creation:

… for a delicate, comforting yet luminous whisky such as this, one which gently enlivens the sense, I have always felt ASYLA an appropriate name. And I believe our lute-playing minstrel is an appropriate image for this label, depicting that penumbra between ecstasy and serenity.

Asyla (Whisky Lady)

Asyla (Whisky Lady)

And what did our Whisky Ladies have to say about Asyla?

  • Colour – Pale straw
  • Nose – Floral, fruity, exceedingly light, vanilla… in short like a feminine perfume
  • Taste – Yummy! Quite delicate, warm, toffee, more vanilla with the lingering floral element, surprisingly ‘thick’ on the tongue, subtle yet with quiet substance
  • Finish – Smooth!
  • Water? Don’t think anyone tried… perfect as is.
  • Overall – Without being insanely sweet, it is like a fluffy desert! Or everyone’s perfect woman in a whisky.

For many, this whisky was the favourite of the evening. A few of us were already massive Compass Box fans, those that weren’t, became converts in the making…

Here is what our note-taker of the evening predicted:

Carissa will probably steal the remainder and snuggle with the bottle for the rest of the evening…

Confession… I did.

Here is what the folks over at Compass Box have to say:

A blend of soft, fruity malt whiskies on a bed of rich, sweet grain whiskies. All whiskies aged in first-fill American oak casks to yield the trademark Compass Box style: soft, rich, vanilla-tinged, delicious. See why this, the lightest of our whiskies, wins the most awards!

For those that want more ‘facts’, Asyla is a blend of single malts from the towns of Alness and Longmorn; single grain whisky from Fife.

However who cares about facts when an achingly lovely lady enters into your life?

The Compass Box sampling suite enjoyed so far include:

From time to time, you can also find other whisky related updates and activities on:

The Whisky Ladies of Mumbai!

What do you get when you combine kick-ass brilliant women and interesting whiskies? An insanely good time!

Years ago, I was interviewed as a woman whisky drinker, with the implication that the fairer sex enjoying a good dram is something new. Let me be clear – it is not!

However at all the recent whisky ‘Master classes’ in Mumbai and Delhi, lead by Master Distillers hoping to capture the hearts and palates of the Indian market, just where were the other women whisky appreciators? Why was I a rarity rather than the norm?

Wake up gents! We do exist… we are a growing tribe globally… no less so in India… and you ignore us at your peril!

So, how did this particular ‘Whisky Ladies’ event come about?

It all started with an innocent query about whisky drinking habits… Which lead to a conversation about women whisky afficiandos… Which sparked an idea to bring together a few ladies for a fine evening!
Without any effort, it was easy to gather a group of amusing women with diverse interests and one shared passion – whisky. Our host for the evening opened her gorgeous home in South Bombay for a most convivial setting – perfect for a merry night!
Whisky Ladies 1st Set (Table For One)

Whisky Ladies 1st Set (Photo: Table For One)

As for our killer line up of whisky?? Oh baby!

  • Compass Box’s Asyla – Love Compass Box blends and this delightful light number is like a joyous summer romp – fresh and flowery. A decidedly feminine start to the evening and a favourite of a few.
  • Kilchoman Coull Point – A complete contrast from a newer Islay distillery with a little wild ocean spray… top pick of one discerning whisky aficionado!
  • Nikka Yoichi 10 year – Then a jaunt to Japan for some mid–autumn cider after a wander through pine-filled British Columbia forests… Mmm….
  • Caol Ila 12 year – Ahh…. where would we be without this good old faithful Islay? Many fans in the room welcomed back an old friend!
  • Ledaig 1997/2013 46% – From the independent bottler Gordon & MacPhail, we closed our evening with a little trip to the Isle of Mull. Calmer seas, peat smoke, complexity with an enthusiastic conclusion – “It’s really, really, reeaaaallly yum!” This one caught favour with more than one female!

I can’t wait for Pollywood‘s weekly vlog which will have a few seconds from our evening. And with the success of our first gathering, there is no doubt this will become a monthly affair!

In fact, such are our ambitions there was talk of hatching plots to get Whisky Live (or something similar) back to India…

So gentlemen be warned. We are loud, proud whisky sipping women and we aren’t waiting around for an invitation. We’ll be making them!

Nikka 'Yoichi' 10 year (Table For One)

Nikka ‘Yoichi’ 10 year with goodies (Photo: Table For One)

Quote of the night from our host: “Please guys, let’s now just enjoy!!” Considering 3 bottles were emptied… we did indeed comply.

Farewell my lovely Ledaig (Table For One)

Farewell my lovely Ledaig (Photo: Table For One)

For a few amusing takes by some other Whisky Ladies… check out:

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