Днес ще ви представя едно „незаконно уиски“. Как звучи само – „незаконно уиски“! Добре, преувеличавам и търся вниманието ви с този увод, но The Spice Tree blended malt whisky на компанията Compass Box някога е било определено от Шотландската уиски асоциация като противоречащо на установените практики в процеса на производството на уиски и затова производителите му, под страх от съдебни процеси, са преустановили предлагането му. И колкото и да звучи странно, клиентите и ценителите на вкусното уиски са заели позицията на компанията Compass Box.
Оценка: 87/100. Цена: 90-100 лв
The Spice Tree blended malt whisky
Today I’ll present you one „illegal whisky“. What an expression – „illegal whisky“! Okay, I exaggerate and seek your attention with this introduction, but The Spice Tree blended malt whisky of the Compass Box Whisky Company, was once defined by the Scotch Whisky Association as an opposite to the established practices in the production of whisky, and so its manufacturers stopped offering it, because of fear of court processes. And it may sound weird, but the customers and connoisseurs of this delicious whisky have taken the position of the Compass Box Company.
What is it about? First, a few words about the company. They do not distill the liquid, but buy it as most independent bottlers and leave it to mature at their discretion, then combine it, blend it with another malt or grain distillate. Compass Box could be called a boutique organization, as it launches drinks in a limited quantity, but under enhanced quality control. It was founded in 2000 by the American entrepreneur John Glaser, who previously held the position of global marketing director at Johnnie Walker. Driving force is the attitude towards their customers, which occurs primarily in the purchase of the main product – the whisky. In the bottles of Compass Box can be found whisky from Highlands, Speyside and Islay /Clynelish, Ardmore, Caol Ila, Glen Elgin, Laphroaig, Teaninich/, which after the initial period of aging are moved to another type of barrels. As a rule, personally selected by the people from the small company, and moreover from some of the best areas in Europe. In other words, the qualitative whisky is carefully cared throughout its entire stay in the hands of Compass Box, as it is being provided with some of the best conditions for further maturation. And this fact is not irrelevant, because exactly the barrel determines to the fullest extent the development of the whisky, and nowadays, when the demand is excessive, many large manufacturers neglect the selection of quality wood, which negatively affects the final product. Another manifestation of the attitude of the brand is that the whisky is non-chill filtered and has no caramel colouring added.
And why did I define the whisky as „illegal“ at the beginning? To be clear – nothing objectionable happens during it manufacturing. However, when it first appeared on the market /in 2005-2006/, the Scotch Whisky Association, which is a union or association of whisky producers, sees reason for concern. At that time, people from Compass Box put the whisky for further maturation in casks, which are paneled with high quality French oak battens /if I am not mistaken/, which even after a short stay manage to give a great flavor and character to the liquid /again manifestation of the brand’s attitude toward the product/. This did not go unnoticed by the connoisseurs of the drink and it began selling very well. It was also noticed by the people of the Scotch Whisky Association and they found something wrong with the process – perfect opportunity to threaten Compass Box with lawsuits, if they did not stop production of The Spice Tree blended malt as such. The company does not agree, as well as the admirers of the delicious whisky in Britain, but the fear of legal costs and cases motivates them to comply with the final administering act. And then their product began selling even better. It acquired almost collectible status, but unfortunately /in this case/ the initial production was not big and bottles of version 1.0 have long been exhausted. A few years later Compass Box decided to resume „The Spice Tree“ line and released a new batch, part of which is the bottle that I tried. Prohibiting the use of oak laths was surrounded – seemingly the requirement of the Association was respected, but the quality oak was again putted into the barrels, albeit in a different way. This exactly is the reason for the spicy character and complex spirit of Spice Tree, which I quite liked. And I think it’s time to tell you why.
Aroma – strong, kind of fresh, fruit candies, rose, chewing gum, sweetish, lemon cheesecake, vanilla, lemonade, woodiness, peaches, ice cream with melon aroma/flavor, tiramisu, apples, pears, weak dried fruits and plenty of peaches. The alcoholic strength of the whisky is 46% and the addition of water is recommended. After a few drops the aroma unfolded its potential. I caught more fruits /dried and fresh/, sweetness and more woodiness. Taste – strongly peppery and spicy /justifies its name/, bitter, I guess because of the tannins in the wood, honey, burning feeling on the tip of the tongue, nuts, dried fruits. With water – sweetness, the piquancy decreases, but the burning sensation as of a hot pepper remains. Finish – lasting, spiciness, bitterness, buttery, dried fruits, honey again, almonds, chewing gum and fruitiness. With water – more honey, peaches, sweetness. Assessment: 87/100
In summary: a wonderful whisky! The piquancy implied by its name is available and quite beautiful in this case.