Review No.20. Compass Box The Spice Tree

Compass Box are a very interesting company.  They are a blending house, so they hand pick barrels from distilleries and mix them together to make vatted blends.  Single malts are blends of barrels from one distillery, vatted blends are blended single malts from 2 or more distilleries.  Logic would tell you that this means the scope for creativity is much greater when it comes to making vatted blends. However, I think this category does not get enough attention.  Luckily for us, Compass Box are doing something about that, if you look at their product range they have created a fantastic variety of blends.  I am a big fan and I always keep a look out for new products.  Another thing to note, they are more than happy to share their recipe behind each.  In fact they encourage you to do so. There is a reason you have to ask but that is a whole other story which I will cover in an article. There is a story behind the Spice Tree, the Scotch Malt Whisky Association who are the regulatory authority took issue with Compass Box in the way that this was produced so they had to stop production and change their process to adhere to the rules.  This one I am reviewing is the one that was made using the new process.


Whisky: Compass Box The Spice Tree Blended Malt Scotch Whisky, 46% vol.

Nose: Cloves, cinnamon, cherry menthol, citrus rind, floral, oak

Taste: Oak, cherry, citrus, orange, pepper, herbs, charred oak, smoke

Finish: Chilli, pepper, charred oak

Score: 3.5

Summary: I found the aromas and flavours with this one to be very concentrated so had used a few drops of water to open it up.  This does what it says on the label, the spicy characteristics are abundant and yet it is delivered in way that makes it feel so mellow on the tongue.  The oak is present in the background and with it comes a subtle smokiness.  All the characteristics of this make it a great choice for a winter dram. This is a solid rich and fruity blend and at a price that is reasonable.



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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