Back in 2000, John Glaser believed there were too many companies making and selling Scotch whisky the same way. An American, transplanted to the UK and working for a large distiller, he wanted to do things differently to bring the joys of Scotch whisky to more people.
So, he set up a different kind of Scotch whisky company, based on the long-lost model of the Scotch whisky blending house, but with a forward-looking approach and an unrelenting desire to create quality. He originally launched the business from his kitchen, but today, over a decade later, Compass Box has an office and Blending Room in London, its own stocks of maturing whiskies in Scotland, and just over a dozen employees.
In an industry that has steadfastly remained committed to “the way we've always done things', at Compass Box we focus relentlessly on creativity, process innovations, and exploring the many ways we all can enjoy the pleasures of Scotch whisky.
With more spectrum of flavour and style than any other spirit, they believe Scotch whisky is one of the world's great drinks. They are here to help ensure it stays that way for generations to come.
Compass Box's Signature Range showcases the diverse and stunning spectrum of styles that can be created within the Scotch style today. From sweet and unctuous to big and peaty, it is an exploration of Compass Box's contribution to date of pushing the category forward.
The story behind The Spice Tree is somewhat controvesial, whatever side you decide to take. It was way back in 2005 that the original 'The Spice Tree' was born. Rave reviews from consumers, trade and press saw the popularity of this blend soar, which was felt to be down to the quality of the liquid and their pioneering ageing method. Compass Box were using the highest quality French Oak, inner staves on American Oak barrels. However, they were forced to stop production due to the threat of legal action from the SWA (Scotch Whisky Association) for their 'unorthodox' barrels. Over the folowing three years, they developed a new maturation process which yielded similar, if not superior results to their previous method. The new 'Spice Tree' was released in September 2009.
So what did they change? Rather than using inner stave inserts, they rack the whisky into barrels with heavily-toasted new French oak heads. They developed a method for getting a super heavy toast on the cask heads with coopers (barrel makers) in both France and Scotland. With three different levels of toasting on the barrel heads, it allows Compass box to blend the resultant whiskies to create additiona layers of complexity.
Made entirely of Highland single malt whiskies from Clynelish (fruitiness), Dailuaine (meatiness) and Teaninich (perfume). Primary maturation takes place in first-fill and refill American oak. Secondary maturation takes place in custom barrels with heavily toasted new French oak heads sourced from 195-year-old Vosges forests.
A rich, intense malt whisky redolent of baking spices and layered with toasty oak accents that complement the underlying distillery character.