This is a special release from Compass Box (AKA that independent bottler that is really good at sticking it to the SWA and making a fuss) to celebrate a decade of their Spice Tree expression. This one contains more aged components and a higher quantity of sherry casks in the mix.
For me Compass Box’s whiskies don’t always live up to the massive hype that surrounds them, with a lot of their core range whiskies being a little bland, but they are always entertaining and now and then they put out something truly remarkable.
Of their core range the Spice Tree is my favourite, it’s got a lot of deep highland character, full of fruits and spices with tons of wood influence. So I was very excited to get some of this souped up version to try.
One of the fun things about compass box is the amount of material they give you, including the entire makeup of the blend:
The one thing missing from here is the age of each component. They got in trouble with the SWA for releasing the ages of all of the components for some of their blends when they’re technically only allowed to release the age of the youngest component. In all honesty some competitor probably tattled on them. The rule is meant to protect the consumer but it’s kind of been perverted by industry giants into a tool for fighting off competition. You can still find out the ages by getting in touch with Compass Box and asking them.
Aged 3 years * . 46% ABV. No colourant added and non-chill filtered.
* for lack of age statement
Nose: Sandalwood. Stamp glue. Candied orange peel. Marshmallow root. Dusty books. Dry red fruits. Cinnamon. Nutmeg. Toast with honey. Apricot jam.
Palate: Dry wood. Sour fruits. Yellow cherries. Pears. Blood orange. Woodspice. Loads of woodspice.
Finish: Long. Sawdust. Bitter fruit. Maple syrup. Slight lingering hints of… Fanta?
Would I buy this: No
Would I order this in a bar: Yes
Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes
This was quite a nice one. Solid levels of flavour and complexity with some quite interesting flavours popping up here and there, it’s just not that much better than the regular Spice Tree to command a price three times as high.