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Compass Box Flaming Heart

Flamin 'eck, John!

6 691

@RianCReview by @RianC

24th Jul 2020


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: user

  • Brand: Compass Box
  • ABV: 48.9%
  • Batch: 2018

Fair to say I have never had a bad Compass Box whisky! I loved the Spice Tree and very much enjoyed Hedonism too. All others were, at least on the tastes I've had, enjoyable as well. This is the 2018 edition of this seemingly very popular release.

Made up of a good whack of Caol Ila along with lesser amounts of Deanston and Clynelish, and some of their 'House' Highland blend, this edition also contains some sherry matured whisky in the mix which has only been done once before, apparently.

The bottle has been open a few months now, is about half full, and I have added about a quarter of a teaspoon of water and left to sit for twenty or so minutes.

Nose - Fruity notes of green apple, apricot and raisin, rise to greet one but are followed quickly by soft baking spices, sweet liquorice and drier herbal notes. The Caol Ila definitely peeks out further than the rest but there is real balance, especially between the fruity and drier mineral, seashore elements, complexity and a deft touch here. Peaty, yes, but it's no smoke bomb; perhaps a beach bonfire can be sniffed wafting over the dunes? Maybe some charred vanilla also as I delve further in. Indulgent.

Taste - Silky, rich mouth-feel that begs one to hold it in place for as long as they can. Arrival is all on condensed fruits, almost syrupy - like tinned apricot juice - but here I also get some hints of red fruits and something like mild sarsaparilla hard sweets. As it develops, the peat and smoke start to unfurl with more liquorice and a mineralic sea shell note. It maintains a good balance between sweet and dry and has an oily and waxy feel.

Finish - Long. Moves into sour territory with some lemon and orange oils and ends on a wee plume of smoke and more of that delightful liquorice note (yes I like liquorice a lot in a whisky). Some mild, soft tannins at the death with a little of the red fruit syrup hanging on.

Well, this is a delight! The blending is, frankly, exquisite and this captures all that is good about Scotch whisky. The peat certainly leads the show but it bows generously to allow all the other flavours to join the choir and sing their solos as well. I have been limiting myself to this as it is that good and deserves to be savoured. But, that said, one could be forgiven for gulping this like a parched cowboy, fresh from the prairies, at the saloon. It demands respect but encourages gluttony ;)


BlueNote commented

@RianC Great review. I couldn't agree more. I've still got a wee bit of the excellent 2015 version left. I'd love to replace it with the 2018, but the price has gone through the roof here. Enjoy.

3 months ago 2Who liked this?

RianC commented

@BlueNote - Thanks! I was able to get this on Amazon for £95 which is about £25 below usual prices and considering their can't be that many left I thought that somewhat of a steal. I think they may even have some left ...

I won't replace it but I will be keen to check out other peaty blends from them. No Name looks appealing, have you had it?, and I'm still waiting for the new version of Pear Monster to show up?!

3 months ago 2Who liked this?

Wierdo commented

@RianC I've still not opened the sample you sent me of this. Looking forward to it even more now!

3 months ago 1Who liked this?

BlueNote commented

@RianC I’ve had a sample of the No Name 1st edition and it was really good. I can’t recall if it was peated or not. I think they are now on a second edition. I don’t think you can go wrong with either. It should be about the same price as the Flaming Heart, maybe even a bit less.


3 months ago 1Who liked this?

Nozinan commented

I really enjoyed my fist bottle of Peat Monster but the second one has not really lived up to the first. My third bottle was sacrificed in a "return trade" at the KGBO even though it was purchased in Calgary...

3 months ago 1Who liked this?

RianC commented

@Nozinan - they changed the recipe recently, along with the label, to include some older whisky. That was months ago but I'm yet to see the new version anywhere?!

Edit - they have it on their website but I'm yet to see it in a shop? Looks good too - 64% Caol Ila and 35% Laph!

3 months ago 0

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