Compass Box The Nectar 10th Anniversary Review

This is a Compass Box expression produced for the 10th anniversary of The Nectar (what appears to be a distributor in Belgium). It consists of around 50% ex-bourbon Ardbeg and 50% Highland Malt in French Oak. It’s bottled at 46% ABV.

Nose: Dry smoke, heavy lemon oils, burning tires, bread dough, tangerine, and a healthy dose of minerals.

Palate: Lemon candies, slate, quite oaky all around with some brash peat influence and a bit of rubber.

Finish: Burnt oak and clementines linger awhile.

Rating: 87/100 – The Ardbeg certainly takes over here with the strong smoke/peat/lemon notes.

Value for the money: These could be found for around $150-200 delivered to the US when they were released. I’d be more willing to buy a bottle around $100, but these will be harder to find over time.

Compass Box Eleuthera Review

This was Compass Box’s first vatted malt which is comprised of 15 year Clynelish (part of which was matured in re-charred hogsheads) and 12 year Caol Ila. It was retired in 2005 after they ran out of stock of the Clynelish. It’s bottled at 46% ABV.

Nose: Peaty with a good amount of tar, seaweed, a bit if isopropyl alcohol going on with some vegetal notes. The Caol Ila clearly dominates the nose.

Palate: Caol Ila continues its domination here with strong peat, dry smoke, decaying leaves, smoked fish, and some farmy notes.

Finish: Dry smoke and vegetal notes as the oak fades.

Rating: 80/100 – I wish the Clynelish stood out more here as this mostly just tasted like a young Caol Ila for me.

Value for the money: I found this in a shop for around $45 which is a decent price. I wouldn’t chase this discontinued expression on the secondary though unless you find it at retail price.

Compass Box Spice Tree Extravaganza Review

This is a reinterpretation of the standard Compass Box Spice Tree expression which is made up of the following: 32.6% Glen Ord (First Fill Sherry Butt), 17.2% Benrinnes (First Fill Sherry Butt), 2.6% Allt-A-Bhainne (Refill American Standard Barrel), 27.7% “Highland Malt Blend” (Light/Medium Toast Hybrid Cask), 4.3% “Highland Malt Blend” (Refill Hybrid Cask), and 15.6% “Highland Malt Blend” (Heavy Toast Hybrid Cask). The Highland Malt Blend mentioned is 60% Clynelish, 20% Dailuaine, and 20% Teaninich. This is bottled at 46% ABV.

Nose: Very malty with vanilla, butterscotch, strawberry jam, and a bit of caramel. This strikes me much more as ex-bourbon than sherry despite being close to 50% sherry cask matured malt.

Palate: Toffee leads off with plenty of oak and some woody mushrooms. Caramel notes are still strong while this remains very malty.

Finish: A bit sour and funky oak here with more butterscotch and strawberries.

Rating: 85/100 – A very interesting profile that is quite different compared to the standard Spice Tree.

Value for the money: These retail around $130 which is about $50 more than the Spice Tree. I don’t think I like it that much better to warrant the extra $50, but it’s hard to compare directly since it’s quite a bit different. I may end up picking one up at $130, but I wouldn’t pay any more.

Compass Box 3 Year Old Deluxe Review

This is a blended malt expression from Compass Box whose name is a jab at the labeling laws which prevent you from using an older age statement in your label if you have a portion of younger whisky in the blend. In this case, the blend is made up of Clynelish and Talisker in the following proportions: 90.3% “Malt whisky produced near the village of Brora” (Refill Hogshead – no age provided), 9.3% “Malt whisky produced on the Isle of Skye” (First fill sherry butt – no age provided), and .4% “Malt Whisky produced near the village of Brora” (First fill american standard barrel – 3 year old – hence the name). It’s bottled at 49.2% ABV.

Nose: Peaches and buttercream frosting with big waxy notes – leads into pears, cinnamon, and honeydew melon. A bit of smoke appears from the Talisker.

Palate: Heavy oak up front introducing some bitterness into the fruit mix – waxy fruits are dialed way down from the nose with more cinnamon, apples, and heavily spiced chai.

Finish: Bitter, dry, and oak heavy with a hint of anise and spiced pears.

Rating: 83/100 – I thought I’d like this one a lot more given the fact I love Clynelish and Talisker. The palate/finish are too over oaked for my taste, and a lot of the lovely fruit notes from the nose drop off as a result.

Value for the money: These currently retail around $280, and while I was going to buy one originally, I think I’ll pass after trying this sample. This one is definitely a try before you buy in my opinion.

Compass Box The General Review

This is a blend from Compass Box that is made up of undisclosed sources/ages but one is 33 years old and the other is rumored to be 40+ years in age. It was bottled at 53.4% ABV.

Nose: Very complex with malt entwined with golden raisins alongside cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves. Heavy sherry influence adding in plums and dates.

Palate: Quite spicy with a heavy oak profile – sherry strikes me as an Oloroso as it’s overly raisiny, but still quite sweet.

Finish: Spices continue to linger with aged oak and pleasant level of sherry.

Rating: 94/100 – As a big fan of heavily sherried malts, this one is one of the better ones out there.

Value for the money: These retailed for around $350, but now are $550+ on the secondary. It was a stretch at retail, and I don’t think it’s quite worth secondary prices.

Compass Box Great King Street Artist’s Blend Review

This is a NAS blend from Compass Box that’s bottled at 43% ABV.

Nose: Crisp pear mingling with clean malt. Very little oak with strawberries and honeydew melon. Light and sweet overall.

Palate: Salty with big malt notes up front opening to sweet pears and melon in the mid palate. Minimal oak complemented by nice spices.

Finish: Fairly long with the sweeter notes lingering alongside the barley.

Rating: 89/100

Value for the money: This is a great buy at retail of $35-$40 – would make for a great intro scotch for someone, but it’s also great for seasoned drinkers.

Compass Box Orangerie Review

This is a blend of single malt and grain whisky that is infused with orange peel zest and some spices and bottled at 40% ABV.

Nose: Sickly sweet orange juice with a slight malt profile. Mulled spices and apple jacks cereal.

Palate: Bitter and citrusy at the same time like a grapefruit – very peppery malt with big dose of cloves.

Finish: Bitter with sweet and sour notes fading rapidly.

Rating: 82/100 – Interesting experiment for an infused whisky – maybe better suited for a non fan of scotch who can treat it like a sipping liqueur.

Value for the money: This retails around $40 and I think I’d pass on it at that price.