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When Compass Box released the first version of their Spice Tree, they got into trouble with the Scotch Whisky Assoction, who threatened them with a lawsuit after they found out that John Glaser added French oak staves to the insides of his American casks to influence the maturation process. Compass Box took the popular Spice Tree off the market. Sort of. They stopped producing it in that fashion, but the stock already on the market sold out in a matter of weeks. It took them four years to come up with a second version. This is a vatting of several Highland malts, primarily Clynelish. The components are at least 10 years old and matured on first-fill American oak before getting a two-year finish on heavily toasted French oak.
The nose is a feisty mixture of spices on vanilla and a touch of ginger. There is some white fruit in there – apples and pears. And quite a bit of wood.
The delivery is malty and spicy – most notably cloves and nutmeg. The whole remains wonderfully mild, though, but the wood wants a big say on the palate as well.
The finish is drying and woody, with dark chocolate at the death.
This Spice Tree will set you back about 40 EUR.