Spice Tree has had some controversy around its inception, an issue I’ve covered in the original Spice Tree post on the blog.
We’re now a full decade past the taking of Spice Tree off the market, and David Glaser is marking this anniversary with an upgraded limited edition of the Spice Tree. As usual, we get an almost complete rundown of the contents, missing only age statements. Of course, as per Compass Box’s policy on ‘private transparency’, you’ll be happily given a full listing of the ages of each of the lots that went into the makeup by dropping a line to email@example.com, or by hitting Compass Box up with a private message on their Facebook page or through Twitter.
So onward to the tasting notes:
Compass Box Spice Tree Extravaganza Blended Malt, 12,240 Bottles (46% ABV, NCF, NC)
Appearance: Amber, slow thin legs.
Nose: The sherry comes up first, with a dry sweetness and some red berries, delicate Christmas cake, wood spices (cloves, dusty cinnamon and some nutmeg), with some leather and a hint of old tobacco. It’s very clear that at least some of the sherry components aren’t young. There’s also a fruity freshness with a baked green apple, some freshly ground white pepper and heather. Some time in the glass also bring in some freshly cut hay and a hint of balsamic vinegar.
Palate: Spicy, with orange marmalade, and some fizzy lighter spice. Honey with a tinge of bitterness, like a good bittersweet chocolate.
Linger: Citrusy and spicy on the tongue, with a hint of pepper on top of the gullet. When the spice disappears, a hint of bitter citrus and some light sweetness remain in the mouth.
Complex and well made, this is clearly an upgraded version of the Spice Tree. You can definitely feel the influence of those special hybrid casks and the combination of the strong sherry influence and the older whisky works very well. This is an excellent Highland blend (well, almost 20% is Speyside, but still).