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.
A long time ago, Compass Box created a rich, bold Scotch whisky called The Spice Tree. Unfortunately, due to its avant garde method of oak-aging, they were compelled by the powers that be to discontinue production.
Undeterred, Compass Box worked with their cooper friends in both France and Scotland to develop a new, hybrid oak cask that would allow them to achieve similar results, but in a way that would be acceptable to even the most conservative of observers. Et voila, Spice Tree was resurrected – matured using a custom-made cask with French oak for the heads and American oak for the bodies.
The Spice Tree is a rich, intense malt whisky redolent of baking spices and layered with toasty oak accents that complement the underlying distillery character.
Nose: Fragrant and aromatic with notes of dried herbs, spices, oak and vanilla. Has a bourbon note to it and a peppery tang.
Palate: Gingernut biscuits, toffee spices, herbal, vanilla, very rich and peppery.
Finish: Very spicy, big and rich.