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Compass Box Orangerie

Average score from 5 reviews and 9 ratings 79

Compass Box Orangerie

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Compass Box Orangerie

OK John Glaser. I know you do some amazing things at Compass Box but seriously WTF is this crap?

First he's taken malt whisky from Glen Moray and blended it with equal parts grain whisky from Cameronbridge and vatted them in a first-fill American Oak hogshead.

He's then infused the spirit with hand-zested Navalino orange peel, Indonesian Cassia Bark and Sri Lankan cloves. The result is the most imbalanced, weirdly tasting whisky I've ever had. And actually it doesn't qualify as whisky any more thanks to the stuff he's dropped in it. I believe it's actually liqueur now.

I'm sure he had his reasons for doing what he did and I'm sure there are people who really really like this monstrosity. But if I know Glaser's taste then I'm pretty sure he didn't like this as well. Don't believe me? Ask him yourself.

My sample is from a brand new bottle and served at 40% ABV

Orange. Orange. A bit of orange. Some orange. A touch of orange. Lots of orange. With a side of orange. And, oh yeah, orange. Did I mention orange? No? A dash of orange. 15/25

That same orange that I got on the nose. Some orange. A touch of orange. A wisp of orange. Lots of orange. Chew on it and you get orange. Becomes more orangey mid-palate. 15/25

That orange again. With a touch of orange. 12/25


PS For a look at how to make orange zest work with your whisky check out the Amrut Narangi

Orange is the new klaek! @MaltActivist, thanks for a concise and succinct review. Perhaps when this opens up you'll be able to detect Indonesian Cassia Bark and Sri Lankan cloves.

@paddockjudge I don't think I'm going to wait for it to open up...


Color: very pale yellow-green, similar to light green tea mixed with water.

Nose: heavy and strong, bitter orange and dark chocolate liqueur. Anise, all-spice, clove, and slightly spicy cinnamon.

Palate: Entry is pleasantly oily, with a stronger emphasis on the bitter-overripe orange and spice.

Finish: quickly returns to unsweetened orange mixed with chocolate liqueur, like a more alcoholic and spicier gran marnier. Well put together. Avoids being too cloying, though not the sort of stuff that one would just quaff. The bitterness keeps it going and probably opens a few doors for those looking to create some interesting mixed drinks.


Some have pointed out, correctly, that Compass Box Orangerie does not exactly meet the strict definition of whisky by virtue of its addition of orange zest, cloves, and cassia (what is sold as "cinnamon" 98% of the time). The base is highland malt whisky blended with some "grain whisky".

Nose: the orange zest hits you immediately and powerfully together with cloves and cassia. There is a hint of the malt in the background when you look for it.

Taste: the orange and spices are what you get first and second. It is both quite sweet and quite sour at the same time, with the sour likely largely or entirely deriving from the orange zest. The taste of malt and of "blended Scotch whisky" comes through to a moderate degree after about 10 seconds. To my palate this tastes very much like Grand Marnier liqueur which is made from cognac and bitter orange.

Finish: this finishes after a very long time of experiencing the orange and spices, with a mild sweetness and the taste of barley malt whisky.

Balance: I didn't want to buy this bottle, but my wife insisted that we do, after enthusiastic reports she had gotten about Orangerie from a bartender with whom she works. I am very glad that we did buy it. It is delightful and innovative. Orangerie, in the details of its delivery, really does taste rather different from anything you are ever likely to have tasted. From a practical perspective, it would seem most to fit into a dessert/after dinner type of desired place for consumption. What I find most interesting about Orangerie are the vivid intensity of the orange-spice flavours and the very interesting fading from them to finish on the taste of malt whisky.

Really nice review. I was on the skeptical side myself about the purchase of Orangerie and, like you, I am glad that I did purchase it. I tend to grab this bottle around the holidays. The orange and spice makes me think of Christmas! If you haven't gotten to it, try Spice Tree. Also a very nice blend from Compass Box!

An enticing review @Victor. Along with your previous comments about this unique "whisky", my love of Grand Marnier and it being on my wish list, well, let's just say I caved and it's in the pipeline.


Nose: Sweet malty notes,engulfed by oodles of fresh orange peel, a citrusy tempest, with a sweet malty heart, that is the whisky. Some spices also evident. Very fresh.

Palate: Less sweet than anticipated, dry notes, and a lot of that orange thing. Think of a very dry Grand Marnier sort of orangie flavour.

Finish : Medium , spice, malt and oranges, some bitterness.

Bottom line:

This is a very well made whisky liquor / infusion (call it whatever you wish). It’s a bit tough sipping a lot of this on a daily basis. It’s a very interesting option after a nice meal, and with some dark chocolate on the side, it’s a perfect desert dram. I’d also expect it to be a marvellous base for some cocktails, and i intend on trying some, mixed with other ingredients to produce a cracking cocktail. The bottle is sexy as hell, and the design is veyr stylish, as always with Compass Box. Would make a perfect gift for someone who appreciates good whisky, and liquors.


Let’s get it out of the way immediately: this is NOT whisky. It’s another creation from Compass Box, with sweet Highland single malt and grain whisky from Fife as the basis, with added cloves from Sri Lanka, Navalino orange peels and Indonesian cassia bark (cinnamon). So it’s a whisky liqueur… sort of. Whatever. Let’s taste.

The first thing you notice when smelling Orangerie is – oh, surprise! – oranges. A lot of them. Reminds me of Cointreau or Drambuie, but less concentrated (meaning no added suger in this case). This is a whole lot more sublte. Fresh and light. Jaffa cakes. Even with the chocolate (but that’s probably the cassia talking). Not what you would expect from a whisky (since it’s not, silly me!), but unusually good.

On the palate, it’s rather light and watery. Pity. Again the sweet orange liqueur, allowing the cloves and cinnamon only the final word. Quite exotic, actually.

The finish is dry and short, but honey-sweet. Bitter at the death as if you bite an orange peel.

This is unusual but lovely as an after dinner drink, with pralines or chocolat mousse. It can easily replace many a ‘one-for-the-road’. If you have friends that enjoy fruity liqueur, but are ignorant of whisky, pour them a dram of this Orangerie. You’ll surprise them. Cost approx 35 EUR.

A rep at a Compass Box tasting mentioned the whisky portion is the basically the same as Asyla. Not bad if you also like to drink Rusty Nails.

I have to agree. but it's no whisky

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