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Compass Box The Spice Tree

Spicy it is...wow!

0 1696

@GeorgyReview by @Georgy

18th May 2016

0

  • Nose
    24
  • Taste
    24
  • Finish
    24
  • Balance
    24
  • Overall
    96

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

I love Speyside flavors and I love Compass box. So this malt blend really is a thing of beauty for me.

NOSE: right after opening the bottle and pouring a dram, the nose reveals a touch of citrus peel (orange, mandarin), cinnamon, ginger; dry oak; brewed black tea. With water it tones down the spice a little bit and reveals more of those wonderful vanilla cream, chocolate notes. One spiced Christmas cake on the nose - love it!

TASTE: sweet, very rich, spicy, a touch of salt; black pepper, honey. Vanilla and ginger are also here. It can take a lot of water without losing flavor which is really impressive. With water you get more of smooth cake-like notes with vanilla spiciness and caramel.

FINISH: long, warming, incredibly satisfying. Hints of pepper and toffee.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: WOW! One really well-balanced, flavorful, moreish whisky. Stunning. If you like speyside flavors like I do, my bet is you'll love the Spice tree!

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16 comments

@Victor
Victor commented

Glaser tends to lead with Clynelish Highland (not Speyside) Malt in just about everything he blends together.

Yep, it is very hard to find anyone who has a bad thing to say about Spice Tree.

about one year ago 0

@Georgy
Georgy commented

@Victor That's nice to know. I never tried Clynelish before, though. Would you recommend it? I'm a lover of big sherried whiskies like Glenfarclas 15, Glendronach 15, so since the flavor profile of this whisky is so much similar in terms of spices, fruitcake flavors, etc...I mentioned Speyside in passing=)

about one year ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@Georgy, most of the current Clynelish is unadorned by sherry or peat (little or none). The now defunct Brora was the sister distillery to Clynelish which specialised in peated expressions. The old Clynelishes distilled pre-1980 were often fabulous. The current stuff, less so, though many still like it. I think most people who like Clynelish now would recommend some of the Independent Bottlings over the Distillery Bottled 14 yo. Another Compass Box highlighting Clynelish is the Asyla Blended Scotch. John Glaser himself has repeatedly called that his Desert Island Dram among his creations. He turned his focus away from blended malt several years ago and toward blended Scotch. You might be able to find a sherried Clynelish, but that is not the norm.

Also Compass Box Oak Cross is just the same distillate blend as Spice Tree, only matured in different oak.

about one year ago 0

@Georgy
Georgy commented

@Victor Thank you! I've never tried the Asyla Blended Scotch or Oak Cross. So they are definitely on my list now.

about one year ago 0

@Spitfire
Spitfire commented

Hmmm...I have a bottle of CB Spice tree on hold (hopefully pick up this weekend); the website showed 3 in stock, should I pick up 2?

about one year ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@Spitfire, all I can say is to repeat it is truly difficult to find anyone who will say anything bad about Spice Tree. It is very popular.

about one year ago 0

@Georgy
Georgy commented

@Spifire If you happen to be into the flavor profile I've mentioned in the tasting notes - yes, I highly recommend it. It is a great sipping whisky as well as a fantastic compliment to any hot toddy out there=P

about one year ago 0

@Spitfire
Spitfire commented

@ Georgy I really like the sweet, rich single malts like the Glendronach 15 you mention, and Aberlour A'Bunadh--both Highlanders, like the Clynelish Victor mentioned, but I also love Benromach speyside. Your description sounds right up my alley. I will admit, at first I was a bit snobbish about this being a blend, but thinking about it, I've decided that good whisky is good whisky and if it's popular on this board (and gets Ralfy's stamp of approval), well, I just gotta try it.

I'm also thinking of getting a bottle of Great King Stree Artist's Blend, also shown on the shop website...this may be an expensive trip!

about one year ago 0

@Georgy
Georgy commented

@Spitfire I tried the Great king street blend and it was very moreish. Very smooth, very fruity, very versatile (can be successfully used in any number of cocktails) and yet complex enough to be interesting. I loved this CB whisky too. connosr.com/reviews/compass-box/… - Here's my review of it, in case you're interested.

about one year ago 0

@NAV26
NAV26 commented

@spitfire, I like Spice Tree, nice rich character, the nose is superb when you give it a bit of time to open up. ST reminds me of some 35-40 year old cognacs on the mouth, probably due to the European oak. not sure I would purchase another bottle it would depend on price and availability of other whiskies in my location. If possible with the money, it might be most educational to compare the oak cross and spice tree as Victor hinted at.

I agree with you on the Benromach 10, I opened a bottle last night and thought it was fantastic, it is one of the few whiskies I have had in recent times that have lived up to and possibly exceeded the hype surrounding it. I will buy another bottle, perhaps a case!

I am not a fan of the GKS artisans blend, I really wanted to like it but there was a note on the attack that did not agree with my palate (young grain?). Maybe it is best for cocktails.

about one year ago 0

MrFathom commented

I enjoy it, but given the choice between Macallan 12 Sherry 43% and Spice tree. Mac 12 will do just fine.

about one year ago 0

Taco commented

I prefer Oak Cross, which is very similar, but somewhat less spicy. I could drink OC every day easily. I also find the GKS Glasgow Blend better than the regular GKS, but all taste buds are different. It seems a bit higher in peat, which probably why I like it better

about one year ago 0

@Spitfire
Spitfire commented

So, about halfway through the bottle of Spice Tree so far. Took me a few drams to appreciate this whisky--it's not the smoothest I've ever had--but it's growing on me, and I keep going back.

Definitely has some spice and citrus, sweet but not too much. A bit of an edge to it. But for the cost, a nice dram.

Saw the Oak Cross recently, might pick up that one next time I see it, for comparison...

about one year ago 0

@Georgy
Georgy commented

@Spitfire It's not the smoothest, but it is definitely a flavor bomb to me. I really enjoy having Spice tree neat. BUT it can take a lot of water, so if it's too strong for your taste - I recommend you try adding a few drops of water to smooth it out.

about one year ago 0

@Spitfire
Spitfire commented

Georgy yes, it has good flavour. But I don't think water is what it needs; I enjoy many cask strength whiskies neat. As I said, the Spice Tree has grown on me, and while I'd purchase it again it's not one I will go too far out of my way for.

(BTW, when I used the word "spice," that's what I meant--I get a general sense of spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, etc. When I said "edge," I was referring to the alcohol burn, a harshness which seems somehow unrelated to the ABV.)

about one year ago 0

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