Tasting Compass Box Menagerie
Upon first nosing, I could get those familiar flavors from some of the old Compass Box whiskies like tropical fruits, beeswax, hazelnuts. Stone fruits got more intense with the time accompanied by a lovely feeling of rice wine, grilled apricots. Beeswax is always on the foundation with a high lemon note. There is a very subtle feeling of smoke which increases just a bit in time. This crowd of flavors are capped with candied ginger and milk chocolate.
The palate has an intense malt sweetness with a creamy texture. Honeydew melon, heather, cinnamon, leather is dancing around which is tested with some earthy, medical peat and black pepper once in a while. The finish is long with nutty and even pistachio aromas. White peppers keep the tension up and then in time it is very much mellowed with vanilla, toasted oak and papaya.
Compass Box Menagerie
I have to admit a thing. The first tasting I did last night was deceiving. Maybe I just did it fast, I was welcome by an instant sharp citrusy nose. Then I just put the bottle back on the shelf and did two more samplings this morning. It felt totally different. Your mood, what you ate, everything has an impact on how you taste the whisky, so give it a try a few times if you have the chance.
Compass Box Menagerie started with familiar flavors as I wrote but it was also a bit sharper on the citrus, lemon notes. For me, it had an increased rating as I tasted through it, and the finish was spectacular. On the blind tasting, I noted 'it is like walking through a fruit orchard and eating a Duck Confit with glazed bacon sprinkles on it.' I loved the intensity of the fruits, loved the oily texture with darker, earthy flavors. Candied ginger and the peaty flavors are just balanced very well. The finish was my favorite part as it ended with pistachios, flowers, toasted oak and vanilla.
The Magic Cask is still my favorite Compass Box bottle of the year so far but the Menagerie shows different facets of the Scotch whisky as planned.