Vault Collection – Spice Tree 46%

Last in our original club’s “The Vault Collection” trio was a a Compass Box blend. Our guest writer Nikkhil had the following tasting notes to share.

Pour 3​: Compass Box Spice Tree 46% | Non-Chill Filtered & Natural Colour

  • Color: Pale Gold
  • Nose: Boiled confectionery, a little varnish, lemon citrus. Then very quickly a lot of cloves and nutmeg. Notes of walnuts, apples, orange rind and ginger follow. Almost perfumey.
  • Palate: Gorgeous mouthfeel. Lovely arrival with a bouquet of spices and vanilla. Warm bread pudding. Follows the nose very closely. Oily and waxy. Some old leather, pencil shavings and that ginger from the nose. I did get just a wee hint of smoke. Again, nicely balanced.
  • Finish: Medium with lingering spices. A perfect after dinner dram on a cold night.

The “reveal”…

We couldn’t place this one even though most of us have had it in the past. That’s the beauty of blind tastings. You think you know your whisky but blind tasting is such a leveller. The reveal surprised us. Compass Box Spice Tree. Enough and more has been said about Compass Box and Spice Tree in the past so I will not repeat myself but instead I urge you to pour yourself a dram and enjoy this expression. Sláinte!

Official notes:

Big, sweet aromas of clove, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. The palate is full, round and sweet, with the spice and vanilla complementing the core distillery characters and leaving a long finish.

The Vault Collection trio:

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Whisky Ladies Compass Box Eve – Spice Tree Extravaganza 46%

Our Whisky Ladies Compass Box evening kicked off with Spice Tree Extravaganza. Issued on the tenth anniversary of the original Spice Tree bottling being banned, the blend:

“draws its inspiration from The Spice Tree but reinterprets it through the use of older components and a significant portion of sherry-cask aged malt whisky. The Spice Tree’s trademark spice character is retained but set within a richer, more elegant frame with a new depth of flavour and complexity.”

And what did the Whisky Ladies of Mumbai think?

Compass Box Spice Tree Extravaganza 46% (Bottled Aug 2016)

  • Nose – Vanilla, sweet spices, rich and almost rum-like, very sweet, dried apricots, stewed spiced apple or an apple crumble with lots of cinnamon
  • Palate – Spiced cider or wine with cinnamon, allspice, ginger and cloves, with all the hallmarks of Thanksgiving – a little pumpkin pie, light roasted nuts, slightly bitter, yet also buttery too with a great mouthfeel
  • Finish – Nice long flavourful finish, chased by delicious spices

Initially harsh for some, however this was the 1st dram of the evening, and one we readily settled into. Once past the 1st sip, it had the most amazing warm spice burn that actually became more not less pronounced over time – remarkable!

We found it quite balanced for a ‘spicy’ whisky, with the most beautiful aromas… ‘festive’ in its character and one decidedly for a cooler evening. And yet, with all its sweet spices swirly about, it was much more autumn than Christmas in character – the sherry dimensions not overly pronounced, an accent not pushing to the fore… In keeping with a more mature sherry malt than brash young sherry bomb.

In short, it was a rather marvellous malt to commence our Compass Box explorations…

Here is what the Compass Box folks have to say about Extravaganza:

Decadent and playful on the nose, you will find notes of sherry wine, dark berries and the fragrant sweetness of traditional sweet shops.

On the palate there is juicy red fruit, a dark brown sugar richness, the trademark Spice Tree ginger and clove spice character and an endlessly long, spicy, substantial finish.

Recommendations This is an excessive, rich, dare we say extravagant whisky. The perfect drink with which to mark one of our more infamous anniversaries. Drink it any way you like – there are no rules that can’t be broken.

For more information, check out Compass Box’s info graphic on this whisky:

Our Compass Box evening included:

Psst… this wasn’t my first tryst with Compass Box’s Spice Tree… you can read more about my earlier experience here with its standard avatar.

This whisky was bought from Singapore Changi Airport Duty Free for SGD179 and sampled from an unopened bottle in July 2017.

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