Friday, April 4, 2008

Have just tried ... Compass Box 'The Peat Monster'

compass box - the peat monsterThis is a vatted whisky consisting of different whiskies from different distilleries, that are aged between 10 and 15 years. The two main distilleries involved are Caol Ila from the island of Islay and Ardmore from the highlands. Caol Ila is generally regarded as one of the smokiest whiskies available, while Ardmore whisky is rich and sweet but with some smokiness (this is unusual for a Highland whisky). So from this description, you can probably guess what this is going to be like. The colour was very light, considering the ages of the spirits involved and the nose takes your breath away. It was very peaty, earthy and smoky (imagine a bonfire) with meaty notes (like the smell of an old leather jacket). However, there was a rich sweetness that battles through this that reminded me of vanilla mixed with honey. The taste was very intense. There was a crisp sweetness that hit the front of my tongue in the first instant and then the smokiness takes over. This smokiness is sweeter on tasting than on the nose, with less of the meaty quality. This whisky has a long, rich finish as the smoky, earthy flavour slowly fades away. I found this to be quite refreshing for a very smoky whisky and think that this may be down to the balance of the Caol Ila with the sweeter Ardmore. This shows the skill of the blender and as a result it is very interesting in character. This is one of the best examples of a blend or vatted whisky that I have tasted so far, however it is a bit more expensive than most other at around £30. Having said that, Compass Box whiskies are not as common as other brands of blended whisky.

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