Compass Box Magic Cask

Compass Box Magic Cask

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Compass Box Magic Cask

Country: Scotland 
Producer: Compass Box
Type: Blended Malt
Age: NAS
Cask: 1st fill ex-bourbon & 1st fill Oloroso Sherry butt
ABV: 46%
Proof: 92
Price: $175

Nose: Apple pie, kumquat, intense fruits, stone fruits, buttery, vanilla pudding, violets, milk chocolate, aloe vera

Palate: Creamy, malt sweetness, golden raisins, sultana, toasted bread, ripe mango, orange marmalade, cedar tree

Finish: Medium long, peach, cinnamon, white peppers

"Magic becomes art when it has nothing to hide."
- Ben Okri

The famous Nigerian poet Ben Okri's quote is also true when it comes to whisky making, and Compass Box is one of those brands when magic can become art considering their transparency principle.

2020 took a lot from us and one of them was this bottle, Compass Box Magic Cask. Don't get me wrong, one of the good whiskies I tried in 2020 was Compass Box Peat Monster Arcana. However, Magic Cask was bottled in March 2020 however it couldn't be released until late 2020. The US release will happen in the first weeks of February! I got my bottles in December but thanks to the customs, they just showed up. Well, at the end of the day, I am glad to say that, it was worth the wait!

A Little History

Compass Box fans recognize the name from a 2006 bottle that was made for LCBO. That bottle was a vatting of 17-year-old Linkwood that spent the last year of its life in a Madeira barrique (a first for Compass Box at the time), with 14-year-old Clynelish. That Madeira cask named the whisky to be named as "Magic Cask". It was simply rooted in the "9.09% Regulation" for making Canadian whisky!

What is the "9.09% Regulation"?
This regulation allows whisky producers to add up to 9.09% of non-whisky components into their blend and still label it and sell it as Canadian Whisky.

What Is New?

14 years later, Compass Box came up with the new bottle of Compass Box Magic Cask. This time they had a parcel of a lost distillery, the Imperial Distillery, which never created a harmonious blend for Compass Box. This changed when they tried it with another maturation trial of a sample. This sample was from a Speyside distillery and it was acquired in 2016, when the whisky was only 1 year old. It was re-racked into an Oloroso Sherry butt. After tasting the sample in 2019, it was decided! Much older whisky from the Imperial Distillery and this Speyside whisky from the Sherry butt no 2, created a magical harmony!

The Imperial Distillery- Single Malt - 1st Fill Bourbon Barrel
Single malt made near the town of Aberlour- 1st Fill Oloroso Sherry Butt

Tasting Compass Box Magic Box

It took me more than I have imagined acquiring this bottle, but I can still take my time, take my sips patiently. As I am sniffing my glass, you can check another great bottle from 2020, Compass Box Hedonism Felicitas.

The nose starts with apple pie and kumquats on top of it. Intense fruity character develops into stone fruits with browned butter. Vanilla pudding, violets, milk chocolate and a touch of aloe vera. The palate is creamy and rich. It starts with lovely malt sweetness, golden raisins, Sultana grapes, toasted bread, ripe mango and orange marmalade. There are traces of cedar trees and pears at the back. The finish is medium-long with peach, cinnamon, white peppers and golden apples.

Compass Box Magic Cask

Compass Box Magic Cask


I am actually now thankful that I received this bottle just now. Or else, the competition for Best Whiskies of 2020 would get mad! I am happily surprised with how a very young whisky gave distinct notes that behave like cement between the deep and robust notes coming from a whisky that was aged in 1st fill bourbon barrels for over 20 years.

I can easily say that this bottle is one of the best bottles from Compass Box since Tobias and The Angel. It set the bar very high for 2021. I cannot stop nosing and tasting the whisky. My only complaint was the length of the finish as I would adore it if it was longer.