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Review #36 Compass Box - The Spaniard: Scotch

Updated: Jun 19, 2020

Score: 8.4 / 10

Distillery: Compass Box

Type: Blended Highland / Speyside Single Malt

Blended whisky made from Arberlour, Teannich, Deanston, Glen Elgin and others.

In 2018 I attended WhiskyFest in New York city. I had VIP passes so I got to spend an extra hour sampling whiskies from 80+ distillers with 475 expressions. I know that’s too many to try in a single night, but I tried my darndest to get to as many as I could. Insert a story about having an 8am flight the next day and throwing up out of my Lyft on the middle of the highway, but that’s a story for another time – also a great reminder to always drink responsibly. Anyways.... I stumbled across the Compass Box booth and they had Hedonism and Flaming Heart to try.

I thought the Hedonism was good, but the Flaming Heart absolutely stole my heart (Honestly for the first time, no pun intended) – it was incredible (it’s a blend of Caol Ila, Deanston and Clynelish). I chatted with the reps for a while and learned about some of the things Compass Box is doing and have been interested in the line ever since.

Whisky Review:

Nose: Sherry, potent green grapes, honey, pear, fresh apples

Palate: Oily and miscible mouthfeel. Tingles (almost singes) the tongue with tartness as the mouth is enveloped with ripe fruit (red apple) and sherry. The initial favors fade into prickly spice, pepper and dry cinnamon.

Finish: Short but tannic. Leaves notes of dry cinnamon and toasted oak.

Score: 8.4


S+ Sensational - The Pinnacle (9.5+)

A - AXEceptional (astounding) (9-9.5)

B - bravo (step aBove average) (8-8.9)

C - competent (7-7.9)

D - disappointing (6-6.9)

F - flush it down the toilet (fail) (5.9 below)

Notes: Availability? Common. Fairly easy to find on a shelf and I'm fortunate to know I can grab this one when I want it.

I will definitely add The Spaniard to my line up – I really enjoy the unique sherry and ripe fruit flavors that it offers.

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