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Compass Box Eleuthera

Average score from 3 reviews and 3 ratings 80

Compass Box Eleuthera

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Compass Box Eleuthera

Compass Box is a whisky company run by John Glaser. He is a blender and bottler, but much more than that – a whisky artist in my humble opinion. His Eleuthera appeared in 2002 and is a vatting (or blended malt, I should say) of Clynelish and Coal Ila. Eleuthera is Greek for freedom (and also the name of an island in the Bahamas, but that is quite beside the point).

The nose is very appearling and aromatic. Creamy too. Nicely sweet as in vanilla and marshmallows on the one hand, somewhat peaty with smoked ham on the BBQ, toasted brown bread and some white turnip on the other. Nice smokiness. After a few moments it becomes salty, reminding me of Caol Ila, which is always a good thing.

The arrival is somewhat soft. Light body. But the taste makes up for that. Cardboard first (sound not too good, but works wonders with the salty edge in this case) before the peat takes charge, supported by the sweet fruit in the shape of juicy apples and some mango. Loads of honey, balancing things out. It has a nice peppery touch too and a twig of mint for a fresh uplift.

The finish is fairly long and gives the peat the final word, with a bit smoky and peppery death.

Nicely balanced and smoky whisky in which the Caol Ila puts its foot down. The name clearly emphasizes the freedom John Glaser enjoys when crafting this type of whisky. Recommended.


Our whisky club that had met on the first Saturday of February had been a complete success. We'd enjoyed whiskies from just about every single whisky producing region in Scotland along with Irish.

Everyone pretty much chose a region to dive into and just enjoy.

My brother in law and myself followed one another closely, going straight into Campbeltown, then Islands and then finally Islay.

In order to wrap up the lovely evening I decided to end on something I'd never tried before and something a little different.

A vatted whisky.

Compass Box Eleuthera to be exact.

I knew nothing about this whisky other then that it was a vatted whisky, initially I thought that it was a grain whisky, but further research has proven me completely wrong.

My brother in law decided to follow me into Compass Box whiskies with a Compass Box Spice Tree.

Sadly I have realized that the Compass Box Spice Tree is not a grain whisky either.

I'm not quite sure where I got the idea that Compass Box whiskies are grain, but now I feel a little bit stupid about getting so excited about it.

Sigh oh well you live and you learn.


Now that I've confirmed for myself that this isn't a grain whisky let's get into some of the details.

This is a vatted or blended whisky which draws it's whiskies from a variety of distilleries, specifically 18 year old Glenlossie, 12 year old Caol Ila and 12 year old Clynelish single malt whiskies.

But you don't care about all that! You wanna know how the whisky smells and tastes dont you?!

In the glass you immediately get the Caol Ila with salty peat coming through clean as day, there are some small hints of meat wafting around the glass, ham to be exact, but loads of citrus from lemons hide it before it can ever really develop. Honey and vanilla go into making this a fairly sweet nose with an interesting contrast with the peat.

Not a bad nose, however it doesn't immediately grab me the way I hope a whisky will.

Time for that taste though!

Again the peat comes through immediately backed up by the honey and citrus. The palate however moves to some oak bitterness, pepper spicyness and some salt as the flavors move back and forth, however I was hoping for a bit more complexity.

Again not bad, just not awesome.

A long spicy oaky salty finish ends the whisky, however I'm left feeling a little deflated as I expected a bit more out of this whisky.

To be honest I'm not quite sure what else I expected, I guess more complexity, something to grab me and draw me in. Again it's not a bad whisky and I certainly don't regret trying it, however I don't think I'd be purchasing a bottle of it, especially considering that if you can find a bottle I'd expect to pay $100 to maybe $130 AUS which in my opinion I can't justify that sort of price tag on a blend that is not absolutely brilliant, especially considering that you have Johnnie Walker Green at $65 or so a bottle which is a lovely little vatted whisky.

If the idea of the Compass Box whiskies intrigue you awesome. I've now had 3 of their whiskies without a single one of them being bad, however with the possible exception of Spice Tree which I sadly didnt a chance to spend much time with, none of them have made me want to run out and purchase them.

This is definitely a case for me of try before you buy.


Never seen this before, Compass Box in nips! Never tried this offering either, so this is a trip! They make some nice whiskys, and are very experimental. Reading up a bit reveals this is a blended combination of an 18 year "old Glenlossie, 12 year old Caol Ila and 12 year old Clynelish", a few great whiskys!

A: Very light pale sandy golden colored with some strange sediment. A couple drops of water adds a nice oily swirl, just the way I likes it!

N: Some oak and light caramel, lightly peated with a touch of smoke, light touch of citrus and vanilla. Beautiful nose. Water seems to bring out more vanilla, oak, and a light fruit.

T: Pretty big on the smoke, and from whats blended in it I can see why. Quite hot as well, I think water will help this a bit. Some sweetness reveals itself after the heat dies down, and more oak and some very light caramel. Some very light fruits as well, but the heavy alcohol and peat seem to overpower most. The peat has a nice smokey flavor and peat flavor, but isn't super heavy and medicinal or licorice etc. The highland blends seem to mellow it nicely. The mouth is a little thick, but pretty average. Water cuts down the alc a bit as well as the smoke, and brings out the highland flavors a bit more. Little fruit and vanilla touch on the taste now and touch more caramel.

F: Finishes still pretty smokey, some light apricot I think lightly hit at the end of the taste. It's 46% abv but drams like a 60%er. The heat takes a little while to die down, after adding water it seems to mellow a bit.

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