Compass Box No Name 2 is the sequel to the 2017 No Name, which looked to highlight the peat, and did so in a very ‘in your face’ way. The first No Name was composed of about 75% Ardbeg, 11% Caol Ila, 13% Clynelish and a wee bit of Compass Box’s Highland malt blend finished in Compass Box’s custom French oak casks. While I didn’t publish a review on the No Name, I clearly remember not being overly keen on it.
This edition is different, with far more complexity and made with much more thoughtfulness. This edition is replaced the harsh Ardbeg from the previous edition with a heart of Caol Ila from refill sherry butts (75.5%). This choice took the expression from an ‘in your face’ peat to a complex blend with the subtleties of the other components of the blend. Those components are 10.5% Talisker in a recharred bourbon cask and the obligatory Clynelish (13.5%) and a drop of the custom French oak casks Highland malt blend (from Spice Tree) at one half of one percent.
This edition is a real pleasure to drink, and is, indeed worthy of its (no) name….
Appearance: Light gold, thin legs coming off a sturdy necklace, with quite a bit of residue on the glass.
Nose: Very rounded and balanced nose. Peat is the first note on the nose, but there’s a hint of minerals, pine and honey, together with a little bit of ash. Gentle wood spices and a little hit of red fruit with some fresh apple eaten while tending the grill.
Palate: Ashy peat with citrus peel bitterness, granny smith apple, honey, light cinnamon and confectionery notes. The mouth is full bodied with a hint of waxiness that blends very nicely with the paet.
Linger: Honey and ash on the tongue, alongside peppery peat in the gullet. Green pear and a dabbing or raspberry with a bit of thyme.
This is a masterpiece of blending. It’s nothing like the first No Name, which was somewhat harsh and not as balanced.
Official sample provided by Compass Box Whisky.