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Compass Box Great King Street Artist's Blend Marrying Cask (KWM Exclusive)

Great King Street!

8 491

@talexanderReview by @talexander

5th Aug 2019


Compass Box Great King Street Artist's Blend Marrying Cask (KWM Exclusive)
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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I was surprised to find I've never reviewed a GKS before (how is that possible?) This expression is Compass Box's stab at creating blends in the way they did in the 19th Century (what a research project that would be!) Bottled exclusively for Kensington Wine Market, the component parts here are whiskies between 7 and 13 years old:

46% Cameronbridge grain (rechar bourbon barrel)

8% Linkwood (first fill sherry butt)

16% Highland Malt Blend (custom French oak heavily toasted barrel)

30% Clynelish (rechar bourbon barrel)

After blending this was married in Cask No. 8 (French oak barrel) on Jan 18 2017, yielding 210 bottles on June 16 2019.

The colour is a golden honey. Fruity on the nose with strawberries, mango skins, peat smoke and heather honey. Candied ginger. Light cinnamon. Orange peel. Black liquorice in the background. Slightly waxy. Water brings out malt and more ginger. The spice overpowers the fruit a little bit but that's OK, it works.

On the palate we have more orange (more like marmalade), light caramel and even lighter peat. Creamy mouthfeel. Big honey notes. More strawberries, banana cream and Bartlett pears. Even better with water, bringing out berries and even more honey. The fruitiness is well balanced by the spice and peat.

The finish is toasted oak and a burst of spice (cloves and black pepper). For those who still think blends are inherently inferior than malts, this illustrates the art of blending extremely well. It's all about the balance.

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BlueNote commented

I'm currently perusing KWM's surprise sale offerings. I'll have to have another look and see if this one is available. I liked the OB at 43%, but this one at 49% sounds like a significant notch up.

Thanks for the very helpful review and for bringing this one to my attention.


4 years ago 1Who liked this?

talexander commented

@BlueNote As of yesterday it was still available (and I think on sale).

4 years ago 0

JasonHambrey commented

I have one of these for Momofoku - a sherry marrying cask, also 49%. It is brilliant. I like the normal GKS, but the sherry finish and upped ABV worked a really nice trick. I think it kept the characteristics of the brand, yet still enhanced them and upped the flavor.

Maybe next time, if there's any left, we should do a side-by-side @talexander ...

4 years ago 2Who liked this?

talexander commented

@JasonHambrey Great idea! In theory. Not in practice. Because there's none left.

4 years ago 3Who liked this?