For the first time, three different front labels adorn the front of the same whisky.
THE LOST BLEND is the new limited edition release from award-winning Scotch Whiskymaker Compass Box. This marriage of three single malts is a homage to their long lost (and much loved) Eleuthera whisky,
and boasts the same unique smoky fruity style. After 10 years of searching, whiskymaker John Glaser was
finally able to track down the unique whiskies he required earlier this year. The result is The Lost Blend.
Bottled at 46% and packaged in a high quality gift box adorned with ‘lost items,’ it will be priced at $120 in
the US, £85 in the UK and $100 in Europe. It will be available from 1st October in the US, UK, Europe
and all key international Compass Box markets.
John Glaser adds, “In 2001, we created our first single malt blend which we called Eleuthera. It was an elegant marriage
of approximately 80% unpeated Highland and 20% peaty Islay single malts. Alas, after 3 years, we were suddenly no longer
able to obtain one of the key whiskies required for the recipe so, sadly, we retired Eleuthera in 2004. Quietly, I have been
looking for whiskies that we could use to bring it back, even if temporarily, but without any luck. Until now.”
Glaser has had a name that he’s been waiting to use for a whisky project like this—The Lost Blend, inspired
by the O. Henry story of the same name. This sharp and witty portrait of life in a New York bar in the early 1900s was published in 1907 and features two business partners who try to recreate a blend of
different spirits with close to supernatural properties.
Compass Box has created three different front label designs all around the same theme: lost items. These
include an antique nautical octant, a Woodstock typewriter, an Excelsior cylinder gramophone, the
tragically lost RMS Lusitania, and of course the Dodo. The whisky behind each label is the same, and the
three labels have been randomly bottled and put into cases, which allows customers an additional
discovery to the whisky itself: which label did I get?
GLASGOW BLEND is the second permanent whisky to be introduced to the Great King Street range of
innovative, small-batch Blended Scotch whiskies from Compass Box.
Glasgow Blend will be available from mid-October in UK and Europe, and from November 1st onwards in
the US, North America and all key international Compass Box markets. It will be priced at around £30 in
the UK and €36 in Europe for a 50cl format (with stylish red gift tube), and $45 and $25 in the US for the
750ml and 375ml formats respectively (without a gift tube).
The Great King Street range is dedicated to applying a contemporary approach to the creation of Blended
Scotch Whiskies in the full-flavoured style of the late 19th century blending houses. To this, they lend a
21st century sense of exploration and innovation for which Compass Box is known. The range takes its
name from 24 Great King Street, the company’s registered address in Edinburgh since John Glaser started
the business in 2000. Great King Street Scotch whiskies lend themselves to a variety of usages—they can be
enjoyed neat, with ice and a splash of water, served as a classic Highball, or as a key ingredient in cocktails.
John Glaser adds, “Over a year in the making, the ‘Glasgow Blend’ involved the creation of over 100 recipe prototypes
before we finalised it. We’ve been trying to make a Blended Scotch whisky like no other on the market today, something
based on the traditional Scotch whisky styles of peatiness and sherry cask aging, but reinterpreted for today’s drinkers who
seek out big flavours, complexity and fullness on the palate. This is full-on Blended Scotch whisky, in all its sherry-aged,
peaty glory, classic in style, updated for today with its flavour intensity and sweetness – part owing to the grain whiskies, part
owing to the small amount of French oak finished malt. There is no Blended Scotch Whisky quite like this.”
In his 1930 book ‘Whisky’, Aeneas MacDonald mentions 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? For decades, The Wellington Statue, outside Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art, has
been cheekily topped by a traffic cone, something the local population has taken to heart as a symbol of
their sense of humour. It has become one of Glasgow’s most iconic images, and graces the label for the
March is nearly at an end, and last night we could say the same for the third instalment of Manchester Whisky Club. Catering for those who want to meet up regularly for a chat with like-minded whisky fans, and a couple of drams to of course chat over.
Held at the Lass O’Gowrie, the third meeting had a theme compared to last months Tomatin led evening. Club founder Andy brought along with him 5 blends to do battle in the aptly named ‘Battle of the Blends’.
Soft fruit nose with hints of citrus and vanilla. Smooth on the palate with a slight spice lingering. Sweet toffee flavours mix with the vanilla nicely to create a long finish.
Chivas Regal 12yr– 40%
Punch of fruit and honey on the nose with lots of fresh notes. Well rounded fruit and nut flavours on the palate, with a slight spice lingering near the end. A very long finish that warms.
Tweeddale 12yr – 46%
Light notes of vanilla and toffee on the nose, with the palate a heavier wood and herbal blend, although lightens off near the end. Hints of spice and salt linger.
Black Bull 12yr – 50%
Sweet aromas of sherry and molasses, with hints of fruit following. The palate enjoys a kick at the start, with treacle and green fruit flavours creating a lingering after-taste. Slight dry spice also.
Compass Box Spice Tree – 46%
Fruit aromas on the nose with a rich, spicy flavour igniting the palate that evolves into a lively well-rounded after-taste.
Sheep Dip– 41.8%
Toffee and chocolate powder aromas on the nose with an underlying sweetness that develops. Rather smooth and soft on the palate with a slight kick near the end of marshmallow. Short.
Feárr Cuideachd – 40%
Our very own Manchester Whisky Club blend from Whisky Blender. Strong, sharp nose of green fruit that carries over onto the palate. A slight spice with an herbal flavour coming through. Lingering finish.
A rather delightful collection showcased, with the Black Bull 12yr being a surprise favourite for me. Great to try the Monkey Shoulder, Compass Box and Chivas Regal again, as well as the workings of the Whisky Blender.
Next month will be the ‘Old and Rare’ evening where according to Andy, we will ‘crack out the history books and look at some more mature and rare bottlings over the course of the evening’.
It’s been that time of month again at Kro 2 with their monthly whiskey tasting and this time incorporating the whiskies of the independent Scottish company Compass Box.
Again for those of you who don’t know what Kro Bar is, they’re a Danish family business who specialise in Danish food and beer. A popular idea in the Manchester area, they’ve expanded from 1 outlet to 5 in the space of 10 years.
Our host for the evening was Celine Tetu, the Sales & Marketing Executive of Compass Box, and she took us through a thorough history of Compass Box itself as well as the whiskies they have under their portfolio. These included –
– Great King Street
– Oak Cross
– The Spice Tree
– The Peat Monster
Now I’ve personally never tried any of these whiskies before, although i have encountered Compass Box at bar trade shows in the past. Compass Box was only founded in 2000 by John Glaser, and in that short period of time they have explored the full range of Scotch, from the peatiest of malts to the richest of grains.
Below are my tasting notes on each whiskey offered to us:-
Great King Street – 43%
Named after the street in Edinburgh where Compass Box is registered, it’s made combining 3 malt whiskies (two Northern Highland one Speyside) and 1 single grain whisky (Lowland) in never-before-used French oak barrels and American oak barrels. On the nose, a heavy scent of vanilla, citrus and some dried fruits with a sweet aroma hitting overall. As it moves onto your palate, fruity flavours gently hit your tongue which develops into vanilla, raisin and citrus. A creamy whisky that gives a long after-taste with a hint of spice.
Oak Cross – 43%
A Highland single malt whisky that’s vatted with a mix of 3 different malts for 12 months. The cask itself is a combination of French and American oak barrels, hence the name ‘Oak Cross’. On the nose it’s very light and sweet with a slight peat aroma emanating. The sweetness returns to the palate with vanilla notes making their way as well. A brief hit on the throat which gives a slow after-taste.
Spice Tree – 46%
Again another vatted malt from 3 single malts for a period of 24 months. The same cask process as ‘Oak Cross’ are used however they are burnt on the inside. Fruit aromas on the nose with a rich, spicy flavour igniting the palate that evolves into a lively well-rounded after-taste.
Peat Monster – 46%
3 single malts (two Isles and a Speyside) are vatted together in American oak casks to produce a soft, peaty aroma on the nose. Hints of smoke arise as the palate senses a light, sweet whisky with a slight spice and floral hints which goes into a lingering smoky finish. Not as harsh as expected!
Hedonism – 43%
First whisky to be created by Compass Box, a combination of grain whiskies in American casks that lasts for 20 years. A 100% grain whisky, rich flavours of coconut, toffee and vanilla create a creamy sensation on both the nose and palate, with the hints of grain in the background. A slight spicy end that gives a tingle towards the after-taste.
Orangerie – 40%
An infusion of Scotch whisky and the natural ingredients of orange peel and spices for a period of 3 weeks, this unique spirit can’t be named as a Scotch whisky due to its involvement of different ingredients. On the nose it gives a short orange aroma (almost a Jaffa Cake flavour) with a smooth orange, vanilla and subtle spice taste on the palate that balance well to create a clean, fresh feeling. It’s almost likened to a dessert whisky and the orange liqueurs of Cointreau and Grand Marnier.
Mid-way through the tastings, Kro supplied us with a delicious lamb-stew which went down very well in a cold and rainy Manchester!
A thoroughly enjoyable event in which we were able to sample a good range of what Compass Box have to offer. Personal highlights were the Orangerie and Oak Cross, hopefully two items I’ll be picking up to add to my collection soon! Special thanks to Celine Tetu who displayed a great amount of knowledge of the whiskies on offer, and hopefully I’ll get to speak to her again when Compass Box make an appearance at the Manchester Whisky Festival next Saturday.
Next month’s Kro 2 whisky tasting will be hosted by Maxxium Brands. On offer will be Ardmore, Highland Park 10yr, Macallan 10yr Fine Oak, Glenrothes Select Reserve and Laphroaig 10yr. 5 whiskies I’ve never tried, but can’t wait to taste!
Last night was Kro Bar’s monthly whiskey tasting night involving a range of whiskey from the Irish based Cooley Distillery.
For those of you who don’t know what Kro Bar is, they’re a Danish family business who specialise in Danish food and beer. A popular idea, they’ve expanded from 1 outlet to 5 in the space of 10 years.
Our host for the evening was Alex Johnson of Eaux de Vie, and he took us through a thorough history of Cooley Distillery itself as well as each individual brand under their portfolio. These included –
– Kilbeggan Blended
– Greenore 8 year old Single Grain
– Tyroconnell Single Malt
– Tyroconnell 10 year old Madeira Cask Finish Single Malt
– Connemara Peated Single Malt
– Connemara Turf Mor Peated Single Malt
Now I’ve personally never tried any of these whiskies before so this was another great insight into another part of the whiskey world. Below are my tasting notes on each whiskey offered to us:-
Kilbeggan Blended – 40% £23.99 rrp
Kilbeggan distillery has the title of the world oldest distillery under its belt (opened 1757) so with a whiskey steeped in history, we expected something a little special, and it delivered. On the nose it gave off a subtle mix of both vanilla and a rather sweet caramel aroma, whilst a soft and almost silky taste of caramel and dark chocolate lay themselves down on your palate, giving you a creamy finish. Recommended as a good starter whiskey to unfamiliar Irish whiskey drinkers, and I’d whole-heartedly agree!
Greenore 8 year old Single Grain – 40% £31 rrp
Produced in a continuous still instead of the traditional copper pot still, the Greenore 8yr is lighter in taste but rougher on the back of the throat. So with this in mind, the nose gave off some delicate citrus notes with a slight mix of corn. As it hits your tongue, it gives you a short, sharp hit but mellows quickly into a more distinctive citrus taste with a hint of barley coming through as it gives you a subtle burn (not as harsh as you would expect a grain whiskey to be).
Tyroconnell Single Malt – 40% £32 rrp
Named after a race horse back in America, it was originally produced by the Watts Distillery until prohibition forced them to settle in Ireland. Tyrocennell was Americas biggest selling whiskey before the prohibition, and was one of the first to be brought back to life by Cooleys in 1992. On the nose it gave off a fresh mix of jasmine, malt and honey with the palate enjoying a fruity blend of orange and lemon with the malt making a strong presence in the long after-taste.
Tyroconnell 10 year old Madeira Cask Finish Single Malt – 46% £49 rrp
Initially matured in American oak barrels, it finished life off for 6-8 months in a Madeira cask. Hints of cinnamon softly enter your nose but you get a kick of mixed spice as it hits your palate.
Connemara Peated Single Malt – 40% £31 rrp
Connemara distinguishes itself away from the Scotch peated whiskies as being produced in rural areas, not coastal, so there’s no powering hit of sea spray or iodine. On the nose it gives you a balance of dried fruits, honey and wild flower. The palate however gives you a silky smooth start of honey, with a more powerful and intense taste of fruit and peat coming through giving it a long finish.
Connemara Turf Mor Peated Single Malt – 46% £51 rrp
What Alex described as ‘bringing out the heavy stuff’, the last whiskey of the night was the heavily peated Connemara Turf Mor. It gives off a rich mix of salt, spice and subtle smoke. On the palate it gives you an intense kick of peat and smoak but develops into a mellow after-taste that leaves dry spice flavours lingering.
Mid-way through the tastings, Kro supplied us with a delicious lamb-stew which went down very well on a cold and rainy night in Manchester!
A thoroughly enjoyable night in which we were able to sample a good range of what both Cooley Distillery and Ireland have to offer. Irish whiskey hasn’t been something I’ve taken much notice of in the past, with only Jamesons and Bushmills my only knowledgable ports of call. But I’ll be looking out for the Kilbeggan Blend as well as the Greenore 8yr which Alex says are widely available in places likes Corks Out.
Next month’s Kro 2 whisky tasting will be hosted by Compass Box who are an independent Scotch whisky company. On offer will be Great King Street, Spice Tree, Hedonism, The Peat Monster and Orangerie. 5 whiskies I’ve never tried, but can’t wait to taste!