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In 2014, Compass Box introduced the Glasgow Blend to the Great King Street range. John Glaser got the inspiration to create this blend from the book “Whisky”, published by Aeneas MacDonald in 1930, where MacDonald states that Glaswegians prefer fuller bodied and more flavourful whiskies than people elsewhere. To reflect this statement (and as per the fact sheet published by Compass Box), the Glasgow Blend consists of 33% Lowland grain whisky from a Fife distillery, and of 67% Malt whisky from the regions of Islay, the Highlands and Speyside. The Islay single malt comes from “a south shore distillery” (approximately 20% of the total recipe), vatted with “a fruity malt from the village of Brora” and a rich sherried Speyside malt from the Aberlour region (approx. 33%). The Glasgow Blend was aged in a combination of first-fill and refill ex-bourbon barrels and first-fill sherry casks, with a small portion being finished in new French oak casks.
The nose is lightly smoky and starts with flavours of vanilla and lemons, followed by a hint of oranges. Later on, some caramel notes develop.
The palate is medium-bodied, spicy and smoky. The vanilla flavours are here again, now accompanied by honey, lemon zest, as well as hints of plums and dates – no doubt the ex-sherry casks make themselves felt here. Towards the end there is a whiff of ginger.
The finish is of medium length, rather spicy and pleasantly warming. A combination of lemon flavours and smoke lasts until the very end.
I enjoyed the Glasgow Blend a lot. This is a nicely balanced blend with good depth and some punch. It is also superbly (or dangerously) drinkable, so beware! The finish was a bit too spicy for me, otherwise this would have scored in the upper 80s.