John Glaser on the art of blending and Compass Box's craft approach to whisky making.
By Connosr, Oct 2010
Brilliant video all the way around. My next LCBO purchase will be the Spice Tree as it is on the 'discontinued' inventory list here in Ontario. :(
My next LCBO purchase after that may well go towards Forty Creek Confederation Oak, or Double Barrel as John Glaser seems to have some common background with Forty Creek's John Hall. Hall's experience is largely based in wine making and his product seems to share at least a very similar philosophy with Compass Box, based on the lessons/techniques learned in the wine making industry.
Keep up the good work Mr. Glaser! I look forward to finally getting a Compass Box product in the near future.
I dont see how using barrel staves is a break from orthodoxy in the Scotch Whisky business. The basic concept does not change, the ageing process alowws the flavours of the wood to permeate into the blend, what difference does it make if the wood used is an added layer on the inside of the cask?
The staves is just a cheaper and more efficient way of doing the same thing. Its not like he is adding a liquid compound to change the characteristics of the whisky (oops, that would be spirit caramel!) I HATE the caramel additive, simply because it is DECEIVING me! I want the whisky I drink to be true to their nature. If the whisky comes out of the cask a light chardonnay color, let me drink it like that. Because I am used to drinking whisky with this coloring additive, it was surprising to me when I saw an Independent Bottling that was much lighter. Stop chill-filtering and stop caramel additives!
@Big Peat Yes, caramel colouring DOES in fact harm the flavour. When they add colouring, they are really just diluting the whisky in order to make it "look prettier": not good.
Hi @jfpilon , You're not the first person to have said that! We haven't tasted enough of Michel's whiskies but everything we hear about him is good. Any particular ones you would recommend?
He sounds a lot like one of my favorite bottler: Michel Couvreur
In today's world, seems like even the smallest portion of a food or drink is altered unnaturally in some way. Question is: Does caramel coloring harm the whisky? Change the taste? If all it does is darken the whisky, I don't see the harm. If it alters the taste, smell, and texture of the whisky.... then it is wrong to use it.
John should most definitely be allowed to use oak staves in his casks. He seems to be onto something with the idea. He's not completely dismissing tradition, just refining it a bit. Great video!
Very interesting story, makes me want to try these blends. Video is outstanding!!
Apart from the fact that this piece is fantastically informative, kudos to the makers. The music, the images, the titles, the whole setup basically is brilliant. Well done, Connosr!
John Glaser is indeed a genius. and makes amazing whiskies.
love the Peat Monster and the Oak Cross / Spice Tree.
The cask, while a crucially important portion of the taste of whisky, is the most subjective aspect of the whole of the process. I don't see how Compass Box's specialized barrels are any more offside than octaves or first fill barrels.
In the end our expectation is good tasting single malt (or vatted) whisky and this is the art of the blender. Knowing who blended the whisky and what their goal was is far more important to the flavour than knowing the age or barrel structure (or refill quantity).
I would think an agreement would need to be had to define what a whisky is. Innovation isn't bad, but should it still be called a whisky or something else? I certainly wouldn't want anything other than a traditional single malt called a single malt.
But if what he makes is good, let's drink it :)
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