This innovative technique gives the whiskies much greater character and complexity, before they are married for up to a year in further oak.
Here's our notes on this excellent bottling:
Compass Box - Oak Cross- 43%
Nose: Superb sweet, fruity aromas, reminiscent of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit chewing gum. Soft cereal notes, buttery vanilla, a hint of waxiness and toasted grain. Superbly balanced between the three main component distilleries (Clynelish, Dailuaine & Teaninich)
Palate: Very rich and mouth filling- barley sugar, a hint of grapefruit, crystalised ginger and Demerara sugar. In essence, rich, buttery and sweet. Absolutely sensational.
Finish: Lingering notes of sweetness, watermelon juice and really clean barley.
Overall: A brilliantly put together whisky, which serves as a refreshing aperitif, especially in the barmy British summertime. We'd recommend this as the starting point into the many great Compass Box whiskies.
John gave us a quick demonstration into the (quite frankly disturbing) effects of adding caramel colouring into whisky (Compass Box of course use none of the dreaded stuff in their whiskies) and it surprised us just how small an amount was needed to effectively take something like a lightweight 4th fill whisky up to a rich and deeply coloured 'Faux Fill'. The results aren't just noticeable on the eye either, take it from us!
We also got to try two of the other standouts from the Compass Box collection, Peat Monster (the company's best seller) and Spice Tree which again demonstrates just how forward thinking John and his team are.