.compass box - spice tree extravaganza

Another Spice Tree from Compass Box. Their first release caused a lot of noise in the industry and their first slap on the wrist by the SWA for not following traditional whisky methods, but using traditional wine maturing methods by adding charred wooden staves inside the maturing whisky casks. Their current signature release consists of a blend of malts matured in ex-Bourbon casks, finished in a "Hybrid Cask" with a combination of American oak casks and (different levels of) charred, European oak cask ends. They have now released an even more complex combination of casks, older whiskies, maturing for longer periods, and a significant amount of ex-Sherry matured whiskies to start with.

Wow, there is a mouthful already, and I haven't even started yet...

46% abv, €130
single malt, non-chill filtered, natural colour

Nose: sweet, liquorice, spicy, cinnamon, hints of cloves, allspice, star anise, fruit, mulberries, blackberries, cranberries, ripe warm cherries, cherry coke
Palate: thick, sweet, honey, honeycomb, fruit, ripe cherries, cranberries, spicy, black pepper, allspice, star anise, 
Finish: long, warm, sweet, honeycomb, warm cherry pie, spicy, cloves and a hint of cinnamon
Mark: ++++/+

Conclusion: Wonderful. This definitely tickles my senses on the right spots. I do not know exactly what it is that the whisky makers at Compass Box do, but it seems there aren't many whiskies that do not tickle my pleasant spots and make me smile. Those last sentences combined sounded worse than I meant to have it sound, but I'll leave it there for future ehrm... reference.

More info: "Only" 12.240 bottles have been released worldwide.

Glen Ord - unknown period in a first fill ex-Sherry Butt - 32.6%
Benrinnes - unknown period in a first fill ex-Sherry Butt - 17.2%
Allt-a-Bhainne - unknown period in a refill American Standard Barrel - 2.6%
Highland Blended Malt* - unknown period in a light / medium toast Hybrid Cask - 27.7%
Highland Blended Malt* - unknown period in a refill Hybrid Cask - 4.3%
Highland Blended Malt* - unknown period in a heavy toast Hybrid Cask - 15.6%

*composed of 60% aged Clynelish, 20% aged Dailuaine and 20% aged Teaninich, re-casked and matured for another four and a half years. With any luck, I might be able to update these last facts with ages any time soon.

.many thanks to Compass Box for sending us the sample to review

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