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Compass Box Great King Street Glasgow Blend

Average score from 3 reviews and 4 ratings 84

Compass Box Great King Street Glasgow Blend

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Compass Box Great King Street Glasgow Blend

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.

I really enjoy this one and, as I like the bit of spice, would rate it 85-86 range. I can only get it as a 350ml bottle paired with the same sized regular GKS, which I don't like as much (81). If I could just get the regular sized 750, I would buy on a regular basis. Quality product from Compass Box (duh!). I really enjoy the Oak Cross (89) and have been running through a bottle every 3 months As I drink a variety of whiskies, that means it is my most commonly poured dram. Great neat, with water or on the rocks, as is Glasgow blend. Highly recommend both!!!

Thanks for your comment, @Taco. I have not yet tried the Oak Cross and will make sure to get a bottle soon. In fact, I am rather new to Compass Box but so far have liked every expression I tried.


Nose: light but definite smoke. Sweet, gentle sherry. Touch of mothballs. Good, not outstanding.

Taste: extraordinarily light-bodied yet has a full Islay flavour. Rich peat and bonfire smokiness, followed by a light icing sugar sweetness and a bit of fruit (mostly apple). Closest comparison might be Caol Ila Distillers Edition.

Finish: long and peaty, as expected.

Balance: seemed a little off-balance at first but has really grown on me. A very interesting, delicate whisky, balancing blend and single malt characteristics. For those interested, the blend is 33% grain, 33% sherried Speyside (Aberlour?), 20% South Islay (Laphroaig?), with the rest made of up Clynelish and assorted Highland malts.


Compass Box has just released a second permanent edition of its Great King Street blends on the market, this time with a red label, named ‘Glasgow’. This blend consists for 67% of Islay malt (Laphroaig), Highland (Clynelish) and Speyside (Benrinnes) and 33% is grain whisky from the Lowlands (Cameronbridge). It is a marriage of first fill sherry casks, but also refill bourbon barrels and finished on new French oak. According to John Glaser, the genius behind Compass Box, no less than 100 recipes were tested before this Glasgow came about.

On the nose, it is peaty from the get go, but not over the top. It is nicely balanced by the sweetness of the sherry casks. Loads of citrus and sultanas as well as some red berries. Cinnamon and vanilla douse the peat further, but the Laffie in the mix is unmistakable.

It has a light body, but is spicy from the start. Some earthy notes, pepper and peat call the shots. The second wave is sweet from the fruit. Halfway through the French oak kicks in, making it somewhat dry.

This continues in the surprisingly long finish: spicy and dry with some sweetness in the background.

Good blend from Compass Box, certainly. But a bit too light to be absolutely great. But then, with that pricetag, it is not something they are aiming at.

I am very interested in tasting this, but have not yet been able to find it in my shops. With Laphroaig and Clynelish in the mix, I was wondering if it resembled a lighter, gentler version of Flaming Heart.

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