A relatively unknown company in the drinks industry, yet a portfolio of some fantastic spirits, is Compass Spirits. Compass Spirits was founded in 1990 my Neil Monyard to source and supply the best in spirits, vermouths and liqueurs. Their philosophy is ‘to deal with family concerns that take an active part in the distillation, blending or vineyard management of their products and estates and produce up to a quality level not down to a price point. This is achieved through a variety of ways, such as premium fruit selection, highly selective barrel policies, using their own stills, extra ageing and a zero or minimum use of caramel.’
Not a bad philosophy at all, and one that has given us some fantastic offerings –
Jacques Ryst uses 100% Folle Blanche grapes, which he buys personally and which are distilled traditionally by one of the area’s leading independent distillers. Only grapes from the Bas Armagnac and Tenareze are used.
Particular care is taken in the ageing of the spirit with only a small percentage of new oak being used.
Dupeyron VS – 40%
An Armagnac. Rich, strong aromas of dry raisin and fig on the nose leading to a sweetness on tha palate. Bold fruits are present and creates a dry, long finish.
The result of an apple selection which includes many old and uncommercial varieties and an ageing policy far in excess of that required.
Morise Calvados Trois Pommes – 40%
A gentle apple nose with a soft flavour on the palate too. Lingers for a while but slowly dries.
Chateau de Bealon
Situated in the Fins Bois, Chateau de Beaulon is a single vineyard producer of Cognac. The 12 Year Old Cognac is a former Decanter Cognac of the Year, the 1975/XO won the IWSC individual gold medal, as well as the gold medal for best in show at last November’s International Wine & Spirit Competition awards. Run organically, using fish fertilizer and natural sprays instead of chemicals, the Cognac is entirely natural with no caramelor chill filtering. Christian Thomas, the fanatical owner of the estate, controls the entire production from the pressing of their own grapes, the distillation, which he undertakes personally, through to the ageing and bottling of the Cognac and Pineau which all take place in their own caves and cellars.
Chateau de Bealon 7yr Folle Blanche VSOP – 40%
Light yet dry fruit on the nose, almost perfume like. The dryness continues onto the palate, with a slight spice but it develops a long, fresh finish.
Chateau de Bealon 12yr XO – 40%
Lots of fruit on the nose, with hints of nut coming through slowly. A developing richer mouth on the palate, but dries a little near the end.
A French colonial recipe of eight natural botanicals rediscovered by France’s leading micro-distiller Gabriel Boudier of Dijon. This handcrafted, small batch pot distilled gin is made from natural botanicals – saffron, juniper, coriander, lemon, orange peel, angelica seeds, iris and fennel.
Saffron – 40%
Light on the nose with a sweet honey coming through. Rather floral on the palate, essence of perfume is present, but rather short.
Not a bad range at all and one’s you’ll be able to add to your collection in no time. A great talking point too away from your more usual brands.
© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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