While reviewing the Oak Cross vatted malt expression by Compass Box, I talked about the toasted cask ends from Sessile Oak used by the Compass Box. Originally, John Glaser used internal staves to line the inner surface of the barrels. The SWA declared this technique to be illegal, and Spice Tree was pulled from the market, only to return after the pioneering use of cask ends to impart the effect of the special oak.
80% of the whisky is finished in the special Sessile oak barrel end casks that are heavily toasted and mature in them for a longer time than the whisky going into Oak Cross is aged. This brings out a much spicier influence who’s effect on the whisky is very apparent.
As in the Oak Cross, The malts used in this vatted malts come, to the best of my deduction, from Clynelish, Dailuaine and Teaninich distilleries, for only location of distilleries is disclosed, without names. These three malts blend together seamlessly to create a complex and interesting whisky, with a special and unique character coming from the Compass Box’s obsession with oak .
The quality of craftsmanship here is very clear in the final result of a very enjoyable whisky.
Compass Box Spice Tree (46% ABV, NCF, NC)
Color: Amber with thin and slow legs remaining on the glass for a long time.
Nose: Clove, cinnamon, cardamom, malt, honey and vanilla, carnations, sweet noodle pudding (Sweet lokshen kugel) and creme caramel. After sitting for a while in the glass heavy vanilla ice cream with caramel topping comes through.
Palate: Vanilla sweetness ans lots of spice, but not overly sweet. Very rounded in the mouth and full bodied.
Linger: Lots of crushed pepper, chili pepper, sweet spices, cinnamon. The linger is long and is like after eating a Sechuan dish in a Chinese restaurant.
As I said before, it would be nice to have someone importing this whisky into Israel.
My thanks to Chris at The Compass Box Whisky Co. for the official sample.