“I like the label!” Great King Street, Starward, Smoky Goat

There is the old adage “Don’t judge a book by its cover!” However let’s face it, we can’t help but be swayed by the ‘packaging’ sometimes!

The theme for our May Whisky Ladies evening was a trio of whiskies selected by our host simply because “I like the label!”

One was a familiar favourite and the other two were completely new to both her and our merry bunch of whisky women.

2016-05-17 Great King, Starward, Smoky Goat

We sampled:

With some very clear ‘wins’ – the ever lovely Compass Box treat and the surprisingly fabulous Starward from Australia.

2016-05-17 Great King St + Starward

And a very clear ‘no!’.. yeah this one decidedly got our goat for being unpalatable…

2016-05-17 Smoky Goat 2

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Compass Box – Great King Street Artist’s Blend

One of the things I appreciate most about La Maison du Whisky is they are happy to share tasting samples. Naturally these are provided by the distilleries / bottlers / blenders to promote their products. However the opportunity to ‘try before you buy’ is something I welcome – especially when accompanied by insights from someone who really knows his stuff.

So when I tasted two new Compass Box offerings, I had a flashback to our Compass Box trilogy evening from August last year. Which means, you are about to join a wander down memory lane…

Tasting Notes from 21 August 2014

Following our standard approach, we tried ‘blind’ different whiskies before unveiling a theme night of three remarkable blends from Compass Box: Great King Street Artist’s Blend, Spice Tree and The Peat Monster.

Great King Street Artisan's Blend

Great King Street Artist’s Blend, 43%

  • Colour – Very pale
  • Nose – Light citrus lemon, yet sweet not tart, fresh peaches, slightly reminiscent of a Glenmorangie but more delicate and nuanced
  • Palate – Spice burn, slightly bitter with a hint of sea salt. When trying to describe the spice note, seemed like a kaccha (raw) spice that hasn’t been bhuno’ed (cooked) sufficiently… One described as ghat (strong spice)
  • Finish – Fairly limited… definitely not a lingerer…
  • Add water? The spice reduced with the fresh sweet lemon coming back full force!

Our blind verdict? A beautiful young teenager… more of a brunch drink that could be a marvelous base to a delicate creative cocktail. With its freshness, perhaps a whisky mohito?

The unveiling – A delight to try such a carefully crafted blended whisky. Named after Compass Box’s headquarter’s street… the Artist’s Blend brings together mostly Lowland Grain Whisky with Northern Highland and Speyside Single Malts. Throw in first-fill American oak and European oak ex-Sherry butts, toasted French oak and we have something interesting.

Footnote

One of the samples I tried in Singapore June 2015 at La Maison du Whisky was the new Compass Box version of Great King Street – Glasgow Blend. Personally the Glasgow Blend is closer to my preferred whisky style with a bit more character – fuller bodied smokey sweet lovely peat. While I didn’t pick up a bottle of it (much cheaper to acquire in the UK where I’m heading soon), it certainly is one I plan to keep an eye out for future purchases.

Other Compass Box treats sampled:

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