Review: This is Not a Luxury Whisky (Compass Box) / by Jason Hambrey

19-40 yrs
Grain and Malt Whiskies (see below)
Distiller Multiple (Scotland)

This whisky, released in 2015, is referring to the famous painting of a pipe, The Treachery of Images, causing the drinker to ponder the definition of a luxury whisky. The contents, certainly, are noteworthy: 79% 19 year old Glen Ord from ex-sherry butts, 10.1% Strathclyde 40 year old from refill bourbon barrels, 6.9% Girvan 40 year old single grain from refill American oak, 4% Caol Ila 30 years old. Bottled at the undiluted strength of 53.1% that such a blend produced, and without colour or chill-filtration. Here we go:

Review (2016)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2015

Very rich – and very oaky. Peaches, daisies, light earthiness, vanilla, marzipan, leather, dried apricot, potpourri, marzipan, malt, mixed nuts, chamomile, cedar - it all slowly unfolds. The palate is loaded – lots of peaches, smoke, oak, pear, white raisins, mango puree - incredibly complex – a wave of vanilla, oak, spices, and light salt and smoke on the finish. The peach fills out the middle really nicely, with some leather and tobacco in the background, and the finish is complex but light. As it sits, the leather-y and old notes come out more and the balance seems to improve. Brilliant stuff, and the grain does some great work here too.

Very Highly Recommended (18% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Low. Not a cheap whisky, and, at this price, it would have to be near perfect to be worthwhile in my books.