Compass Box is a small independent specialist Scotch whisky company, devoted to making some of Scotlandís premier whiskies through the art of blending. Similar to fine wine negociants, they choose individual casks of whiskies from different distilleries, which offer complementary sets of flavours, and then blend the whiskies in small batches. Their whiskies have unusual names and the labels are contemporary in style; itís all part of their vision: take a contemporary approach to a traditional product. At the core of everything they create is a desire to bring out a purity of flavour, a richness, a drinking experience that will call people back to their glass; to Compass Box, this is the true measure of a whiskyís quality. The return of the Spice Tree! Read the full story here
. Compass Box first launched The Spice Tree in 2005 but were forced to discontinue production, despite rave reviews, under a legal threat from the Scotch Whisky Association due to the pioneering use of high quality French oak inner staves. As previously The Spice Tree is 100% malt whisky sourced from northern Highland distilleries (notably and primarily malt whisky distilled at the Clynelish distillery. The primary maturation is in a mix of first-fill and refill American oak casks. Where the new Spice Tree differs from the original is in the secondary maturation. Rather than using inner stave inserts, the whisky is racked into barrels with heavily toasted new French oak heads. Three different levels of toasting are used for different casks which allows John Glaser more control over the final blend and adds additional layers of complexity. This secondary maturation lasts as long as two years. The Spice Tree has big, sweet aromas of clove, ginger, cinnnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. The palate is full, round and sweet, with the spice and vanilla complementing the core distillery characters and leaving a lojng finish. Its rich, bold flavours make it suitable for after-dinner sipping, as an accompaniment to certain cheese and ideal in cocktails.