Country: Scotland Producer: Compass Box Type: Blended Malt Age: NAS Cask: See below chart ABV: 46% Proof: 92 Price:$49.99
Nose: Waxy apples, honeycomb, vanilla, summer flowers, pear jam, a touch of butter, toasted bread, a whiff of smoke, pickled tomatoes
Palate: Creamy, butterscotch, candied ginger, stone fruits, apple crumble, white peppers, a touch of smoke.
Finish: Soft vanilla, oak spices, dissolving earl grey tea-like tannins dry the palate leaving black peppers and cinnamon
Lately, my palate has been craving juicy, ripe fruits every evening. That's probably because of my low sugar intake though. I was literally thinking of a big, juicy plum the other day and found myself at WholeFoods shopping for one. The next day, thanks to a friendly reminder from Whisky Goodness, I was finally able to get one of the newest expressions from Compass Box, the Compass Box Orchard House.
Compass Box Orchard House is now welcomed in the core range of the Scotch Whiskymaker. The lead whiskymaker for this project is James Saxon, whose style I tend to find very vibrant. Well, Compass Box Orchard House is no different. I was positively overwhelmed with the whiskies it has in it before tasting. Orchard House has some of the distilleries I have always been fond of including Caol Ila, Clynelish, Linkwood and Benrinnes.
It won't be wrong to suggest that, Compass Box Orchard House replaced another beloved whisky in the core range, Oak Cross. Though, I would say that the two whiskies don't share similar characters.
Compass Box also makes use of one of late Dr. Jim Swan's researches and they used lower entry proofs in two-thirds of the barrels that are making this whisky. So, instead of 63.5% abv, the entry was at 58% abv to extract more sugar from the wood and end up with less dilution at the very end. A more exciting note about the Orchard House is also where the whisky was aged. Each whisky in this blend was aged under Compass Box's control from the day it was distilled. This should be a special occasion for Compass Box.
The Linkwood Distillery - Single Malt - First Fill Bourbon Barrel
The Clynelish Distillery - Single Malt - First Fill Bourbon Barrel
The Benrinnes Distillery - Single Malt - Refill Hogshead
Distillery Near The Town of Aberlour - Single Malt - Revatted Oloroso Seasoned Butt
Highland Malt Blend - Custom French Oak Barrels Medium and Heavy Toast
The Caol Ila Distillery - Single Malt - First Fill Bourbon Barrel
Tasting Compass Box Orchard House
Waxy apples were the first two words I told to myself as I started sniffing from my glass. Fragrant, floral and fruit packed! Summer flowers with a touch of oakiness, toasted bread, and that thin smoke from Caol Ila. Lovely integration of pear jam, waxy apples. Alcohol burn is almost non-existent, and this is making me happy as I know that the majority of the malts in this whisky is around 8 years old.
Compass Box Orchard House
The palate is oily with some butterscotch, soft vanilla, stone fruits, apple crumble leading to a finish with a touch of smoke and candied ginger. The finish has delicate tannins as you are sipping some earl grey which was steeped for the third time. The end is a lovely meeting of black peppers and cinnamon.
I have nothing but good words about this whisky. Is this the ultimate blend that Compass Box made until now? No! However, if considered the price of $50 and the young age, this whisky is an overperformer and will definitely join my daily whiskies!