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Compass Box Flaming Heart 10th Anniversary

Pretty nice vatting

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@valuewhiskyReview by @valuewhisky

16th Feb 2013


Compass Box Flaming Heart 10th Anniversary
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

This is indeed the 10th Anniversary (3rd Edition). Generally I find that my whiskies are best right after opening the bottle - they generally "pop" and "zing" then, and then get a little dull after a few weeks or months. In this case, Flaming Heart was very sharp and muted the first couple drinks, then after a couple weeks it mellowed out and "opened up."

Nose: More Clynelish than Laphroaig. There is definitely some ash and soot in the background, but no peaty-iodine blast like an Islay whisky. I know this is a played-out tasting note for Clynelish, but candle-wax really is what jumps out at me. Also, pears and apples. Parsnips. Yeah, I said parsnips. It's a solid nose - nice, intriguing. Not one of my favorite noses, but above average for sure.

Palate: Ashes and Diageo cask-wood. Yes, Diageo cask-wood is a definite signature - go taste a few Diageo whiskies if you don't believe me. Plenty of honey, but I don't find this to be very sweet. It's balanced, and definitely not favoring the sweet. The mouthfeel is very nice - not thin, not watery. I find this to be a difficult whisky to pick out any secondary tasting notes on the palate.

Finish: Bitter ash and oak slightly win over the honey sweetness. Decent length. Good, but not delicious, if you know what I mean.

Miscellaneous complaint: The bottle is too tall for my shelf!

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MCM commented

I like the specific distillery references in your review. Does the Compass Box publish from where they source the malts, or is this and educated guess?

Yes, and that is a tall bottle.

11 years ago 0

valuewhisky commented

Thanks for the comment, MCM. I probably should have given more background; guess I was feeling lazy last night! Compass Box never tells you exactly, but they give you more hints than most blenders. Here is there fact sheet: compassboxwhisky.com/pdf/…

Primarily whisky from the villages of Brora and Port Askaig. Brora is certainly Clynelish. I might have guessed Caol Ila from Islay, but there is a high percentage (34%) of first-fill American oak, which screams Laphroaig to me, knowing that Compass Box does use Laphroaig (e.g. in Peat Monster). If it were Caol Ila (Diageo) it definitely wouldn't be first-fill oak. Lastly they mention Isle of Mull, which is Ledaig, but I don't have any tasting experience with Ledaig.

11 years ago 0

valuewhisky commented

Oops! I guess that Caol Ila is the Port Askaig distillery; Laphroaig is in Port Ellen. So, I'm not really sure where the first-fill American Oak is coming from, unless Compass Box finishes in it. That's why it tastes more like Caol Ila than Laphroaig ;-)

11 years ago 0

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