Compass Box Great King Street Glasgow Blend 43%

Our Whisky Ladies November session quite randomly ended  up with a trio of Highland drams plus the delicious Compass Box Great King Street Glasgow Blend.

As a tasting group, we were no strangers to Compass Box and its whole new calibre of blends. In an earlier session we had even tried a limited edition Great King Street blend – the Experimental Batch.

Here is what we thought of the peaty Glasgow version…

Compass Box Great King Street Glasgow Blend 43%

  • Colour – Light straw
  • Nose – Nutty, lightly smokey, old furniture, autumn leaves, some spice, a bit of minerals, some vanilla, biscuits
  • Palate – Simply superb! Coffee, sweet berries, beautifully well rounded, some basil, a bit woodsy
  • Finish – Wood smoke, cinnamon, cloves

Overall we enjoyed our wee nip of this blend and the small bottle was completely polished off!

Here is what the Compass Box folks have to say:

In his 1930 book “Whisky”, Aeneas MacDonald teaches us that Glaswegians historically preferred fuller bodied and more flavour-packed whiskies than people in other parts of the world. So what better name for a whisky such as this?

You’ll find here a rich vein of peaty-smokiness, underpinned by sherry cask-aged whiskies, full of dried fruit and wine character. The palate is full and round, with a sweetness typical of whiskies from our company.

You can also see exactly what this blend is made of, courtesy of the fabulously transparent disclosures of Compass Box.

Here is what else we tried:

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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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