Review No.164. Compass Box Asyla

I have discussed Compass Box before (the art of blending) and have reviewed the Spice Tree and Great King Street Artists blend.  I have not come across anyone that is not a fan of their whiskies and their approach to what they do.  They are seen to be leading the transparency agenda by wanting to publish the finer details of the whiskies that go into their blends as well as the casks used.  The Scotch Whisky Association regulations do not permit them to do this but you will find some details on their website or within their packaging for tasting sets.

I have mentioned before that I think Compass Box are targeting the upper end of the market based on their prices and are going for exclusivity by the looks of how they are marketing and packaging their products.  I don’t take issue with their prices too much because I do not doubt that they are using high quality malts matured in high quality casks but it kind of takes the shine of their pursuit of transparency for the greater good when I can’t really afford to buy most of what they sell.  This isn’t all their fault though, investors/speculators contribute to this too.  Also, given that they pushing for greater transparency, I do not understand why they do not put an age statement on their packaging.   I suspect this would make their prices look extortionate if they used a drop of 5 year old malt, although good quality 5 year old malt I would presume.  Anyway, I can see both sides and just wish their range was more accessible to the masses.

I am reviewing the Asyla and will be reviewing the Oak Cross, Peat Monster and Hedonism over the coming days.  I am not sure if I am allowed to put the details that I have on this online so I will play it safe and tell you that this one made from malts from Elgin, Alness and Longmorn and grain from Fife.  All of which have been matured in first fill or rejuvenated (reconditioned old casks to extend its use) american oak barrels.


Whisky: Asyla Blended Malt Scotch Whisky, 40%

Nose: Vanilla fudge, grass, cinnamon, cream, apricot, yogurt

Taste: Cream, butterscotch, fudge, salt, light smoke, lemon, spice

Finish: Butterscotch and citrus

Score: 2.75

Summary: This is a light and crisp blend with gentle sweet notes.  There is a mix of vanilla and fruit and slight savoury notes and these are all balanced together quite nicely.  This blend is well put together as you would expect and I feel this is a good step up from the Great King Street Artists blend which although is also light and crisp, just does not have enough character to it.  However, that is more by design than poor quality malt and maturation.  The Asyla offers a bit more than the Great King Street but not much more.  Although this is nice it is not memorable.


Scoring scale: My scores reflect a balance of the overall experience, availability and cost for a whisky,

1 – not to my preference

2 – tastes fine but does not excite me

3 – more to my liking and would revisit occasionally

4 – very much to my liking and would consider as a regular feature on my whisky shelf

5 – permanent feature on my whisky shelf


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