Compass Box was launched in 2000 by the American John Glaser, who was previously International Marketing Director at Johnnie Walker. To promote his whisky, John travelled through London visiting pubs and bars with samples and, in idiosyncratic style, handing out business cards billing himself as “John Glaser – Whisky Zealot”.
Compass Box’s modus operandi and strong work ethic is what sets them apart as an independent bottler and blender like no other. Compass Box buy individual casks and focus on creating a craftsman-like boutique product. None of their bottlings are chill-filtered, nor is any colouring added and are all married exclusively in American oak. This brings the characteristic sweetness to the whisky.
The tale of the Spaniard is a blend of Highland and Speyside whiskies, significant portions of which have been aged in sherry casks and - most notably - Spanish red wine casks. Predictably, this is a delectable dram full of dark fruit and berry flavours with a heavy dose of rich, woody spice.
Nose: Ripe blood orange and toasted vanilla pod. A few hints of fresh malt in the background.
Palate: Sponge cake, chocolate chip and raisin cookies, almond.
Finish: Dried cherry, cinnamon and menthol.