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Compass Box Oak Cross

A Look at 2 Bottlings

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@OnibubbaReview by @Onibubba

1st Mar 2013

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  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Overall
    88

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Recently, John Hansell of Whisky Advocate, gave a very favorable rating to the latest bottlings of Oak Cross. I quite enjoyed the bottle that I had open, so I thought I would give a new bottling a try.

So, what is the difference? How can you tell which one you are buying? The bottle pictured here is the older bottling. The newer version comes in a baby blue box with "fancy nancy" gold and black lettering. I confirmed this with Compass Box. Both are bottled at 43%.

I am tasting these side by side. I am down to about a 1/4 bottle of the old, and 3/4 left in the new.

Aroma is the same. Birthday cake...No, pound cake. Ginger ale, specifically, Ale-8. The Ale-8 note is stronger in the older bottle.

Some real woodiness in the taste. Rather like sucking on an old Popsicle stick. Custard. OK, here is where the difference seems most obvious. There is more of a spice kick on the newer bottling. Nutmeg. Seems "sharper" on the tongue than the older. Of course, the older bottle has been open longer, so that may be the cause of it.

Finish. Wood and custard - Long. Spice - Short.

I am going to say that the difference here is really just a matter of how much spice and "zing" you prefer. I find the older bottle a bit more subdued, more about the pound cake, less about the spice. I think that makes it the smoother of the two, and makes it my preference.

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3 comments

@GotOak91
GotOak91 commented

An Ale-8-1 tasting note very unique I like it

8 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

Never heard of Ale-8. Interesting review. I've heard the Oak Cross has ginger and cloves with quite a bit of citrus flavors as well. Never tasted it, myself.

I have a bottle of the Peat Monster open at the moment. Compass Box can make some interesting stuff. I'm not crazy about the Monster, but it's okay. The three smokers I've got open are that, Uigeadail and Ardmore peated traditional cask. The Ardmore got very got when it was down to one quarter of the bottle left. Of course I have other bottles open but they are not so heavily peated.

8 years ago 0

@Onibubba
Onibubba commented

Ale-8 ( a late one) is a ginger ale produced in KY and not widely distributed outside of KY. Not as harsh as some "real" ginger ales, with a nice custardy / vanilla sweetness.

This is NOT a peater. Do not buy this if you are hoping for smoke. This is on the sweeter / spicier side. In fact, I am envisioning this as a summer drink with one big ice cube slowly melting.

8 years ago 0

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