The newest addition to Compass Box’s core stable of blended malts, this is all about the influence of Spanish wine, and Sherry, on the liquid. Inspired by a blend first created for a bar in New York called “The Spaniard” this is blended from six whiskies including a Teaninich aged in Spanish red wine casks and a Highland malt aged in first-fill Sherry butt. With four other components to the blend, including some Glen Elgin and Deanston malts this shows aromatics ranging from baked apples to peanut butter to cocoa powder and dried fruits. The palate was a bit mystifying on first taste. We found Walker’s shortbread, Werther’s Originals, a hint of red berry fruit and cinnamon. And then upon second sips, notes of honey, heavy cream and maple syrup erupted from the glass. A medium-length finish that reminded us of apple cider shone beautifully. For what heavily sherried malt whiskies are going for these days this is an absolute bargain, and one you’ll want to add to your collection today.
There are some people in the spirits business who are cut from a different cloth, Compass Box's founder and master blender John Glaser is one of those folks. After many years in the wine trade, he entered the Scotch whisky business with Johnnie Walker, where he honed his palate and helped develop the renowned Green and Gold labels. Somewhat frustrated with the limitations of the corporate world, he felt compelled to follow his passion for making great blends. He started Compass Box to, as he states, "nurture the roots of tradition in order to grow the possibilities." An artist, visionary and one hell of a whisky "blendologist," he has successfully conjured up some of the biggest, baddest and sexiest drams we've tasted.