Review: Compass Box Orchard House Blended Malt Scotch Whisky / by Jason Hambrey

See below
100% Malt Whisky (see below)
Distiller Multiple (Scotland)

This is a relatively new compass box whisky, an addition to their core lineup that generally offer great value for money (as opposed to the very highly priced limited editions). The conception of the whisky is to blend together a very fruit-forward malt that is fragrant and balanced. It’s nice to see another one - these “core” compass box whiskies are very good. The batches vary slightly, but this batch is a mix of:

  • 30.6% clynelish single malt scotch (to contribute apple, wax, honey), matured in a first-fill ex-bourbon casks

  • 24.9% linkwood. matured in first-fill ex-bourbon casks (to contribute pear, vanilla, maltiness)

  • 2.4% highland malt blend., matured in a custom, heavily toasted French oak barrel (to contribute chocolate, cinnamon, ginger)

  • 2.4% caol ila single malt whisky matrued in first-fill ex-bourbon casks (to contribute smoke, almond, vanilla)

  • 6.6% aberlour single malt matured in oloroso sherry (to contribute red apple, sultana raisins, and malt)

  • 6.4% clynelish single malt matured in first-fill ex-bourbon casks (to contribute apple, vanilla, and spice)

  • 12.6% benrinnes single malt matured in first-fill ex-bourbon casks (to contribute fudge, apple, maltiness)

  • 14.2% linkwood single malt matured in first-fill ex-bourbon casks (to contribute apple blossom, honey, vanilla).

Review (2022)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: L18 01 22 3:06:06 BB

  • Bottling Date: 2018

This has such a nice malty core – you can tell just as soon as you pour it from the bottle. The fruit, indeed, is very bright – fresh apples, pears, peaches – but there is also bright, citrusy barley and a light foundation of oak. And, some very nice bourbon-y notes on the nose. The palate is fruity, and there is a lovely thread of smoke that adds terrific savoury and earthy character – it really increases the depth of this whisky. The toffee on the palate plays in so brilliantly with the whisky, and there is an underrant of dried fruit that works brilliantly. The finish is waxy, a bit earthy, and still with lots of that fruit.

A really nice Scotch, especially for the price.

Highly Recommended (50% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Pretty good value at $60-80!