Whisky Connosr
Shop Join

Compass Box The Spice Tree

March Whisky Club Meets Dram 2!

0 1189

@SquidgyAshReview by @SquidgyAsh

11th Mar 2013


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

Show rating data charts

Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

In keeping with my blended theme for our March whisky club meeting I decided to try a Compass Box once more.

I'd had the Compass Box Eleuthera and the Compass Box Hedonism before and found both of them pleasant.

Even more I'd got a chance to take a sip of my brother in law's Spice Tree last whisky club, so I figured why not go in for the full dram?

So once I finish my Monkey Shoulder I order the Spice Tree and get ready to see what new fun things there are to discover.

Sitting a lovely golden color in the glencairn it's nose definitely lives up to it's name.

Lots and lots of spices on the nose, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla, coconut, ginger, chocolate, sultanas, raisins, it's almost like a Christmas cake at times!

Awesome nose, stupidly complex, beautiful and it makes you want to take a sip like you wouldn't believe!

So let's do so!

Beautiful creamy mouthfeel with oak, raisins, vanilla, chocolate, citrusy oranges, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves. Rich and enjoyable are a couple of good terms to describe this whisky.

A long, dry and chocolatey finish ends this whisky, leaving you want more.

This is a blended whisky that disproves the long held belief by so many whisky drinkers that blends are unpleasant, not worthy of bring drunk, not as good as single malts, etc etc etc.

At $100 AUS many people would say this is expensive for a blended whisky, comparing it against Ardbeg, Macallan, etc but you'd be silly and wrong to do so. This little guy is just as good as many single malts and better then quite a few single malts that I've had.

Related Compass Box reviews


YakLord commented

Great review! This is probably one of my favourite whiskies! And yes, while it is a blend, it is a blended ('vatted') malt, so there is no grain whisky, and the malts are sourced from decent distilleries. I find the pricing interesting...while the Scapa 16yr is far more expensive in Canada ($120 CAD) than it is in Australia, the Spice Tree is far less expensive (only $63 CAD).

8 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

Excellent review as always, Ash. I have a bottle of this in my safe. Saving it for the holidays next year. I figure spice would be nice round about Christmas and New Years's.

8 years ago 0

SquidgyAsh commented

Glad you guys liked the review! @YakLord it is indeed a vatted whisky however I'm not quite sure what distilleries go into this one. I've just grown frustrated when I use the term vatted and everyone looks at me and goes blend. However I did receive a couple emails about it :D Perhaps I should amend it and just stick to my guns about vatted vs blended.

Price point wise though it does run at around $120 to $130 over here, which like I said in my opinion is way too much for what you get with that one, but $63 for Spice Tree!? Jealous!! If I could pick it up at that price I would!!

@Rigmorole You'll definitely enjoy this whisky! Simple as that!

Thanks for the comments guys :D

8 years ago 0

YakLord commented

@SquidgyAsh - my understanding is that the malts used were from Clynelish, Dailuaine, Longmorn, and Teaninich...the Compass Box Info Sheet gives you the names of the towns from which the malts were sourced, but doesn't actually say which distillery...for example, they say 'the village of Brora', etc.

Strange how the pricing can vary so much depending on where you are...the Peat Monster is $60 CAD, but it has been discontinued...come to think of it, all of the Compass Box offerings here are fairly reasonably priced considering the age, quality, etc.

8 years ago 0

YakLord commented

...and by discontinued, I mean that the LCBO has decided to stop stocking it, not that Compass Box has stopped making it...sorry for any confusion!

8 years ago 0

SquidgyAsh commented

Thanks for the info YakLord! You know whenever I start to get upset about the whisky prices here in Australia I stop and think about you poor guys over in Canada, high prices and at times weird/not great selection all decided by the LCBO and then I thank the whisky gods that at least I can import my own whiskies.

8 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

As for your moniker: Interesting how you honed in on one of the 6's from the Disney spoof with the word "Whisky" instead. The original Disney logo with its conspicuous 666 is quite "Luciferian" (and I don't mean Satanic) ; )

8 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

Oh, I forgot the entire reason that I wrote to you, one of my most trusted connosrs on this site, in the first place: Ash, do you know if the Spice Tree is blended with any grain alcohol, or if it is, as we used to say, "vatted" single malts? If it's vatted and does not contain grain, I think I shall pick up another bottle from a liquor store in town that has the last few in town. I have not opened the first bottle in my safe yet, but I'm anxious to do so once my open bottle dwindle down in number to justify it.

"Do what thou wilt is the whole of the law," after all, at least according to Walt Disney ; )

8 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

Found this for those interested. Answered my own question! Happy Sunday, Ash! Next time, I'll write to you on "Ash Wednesday!"

From the distillers very own website:

Type: Vatted Malt. A blend of single malts from different distilleries.

Tasting Notes: A natural, deep, gold-brown colour and a rich nose with spices such as clove and nutmeg, and sweet stewed fruits. Palate is soft, sweet, deep and rich with a malt whisky fruitiness embellished by rich spice. Very long.

Lead Distilleries: Dailuaine, Teaninich and two other malt whiskies distilled in the villages of Brora and Longmorn.

Wood: 100% first-fill Bourbon barrels and first-fill, recharred American oak hogsheads for the primary maturation. A portion of the whisky went through a secondary maturation on new (virgin) French Sessile oak, heavily toasted. Our inaugural batch (labelled as such on the front and back labels) had one toast level. Our second batch, released April 2006, had several different toast levels for a slightly more subtle yet complex flavour profile, but definitely similar to the inaugural batch.

8 years ago 0

SquidgyAsh commented

Hahaha Rigmorole you always make me grin :D I'm glad that you trust my opinions:D

Compass Box Spice Tree is indeed very delicious! And as you have already said it's a vatted whisky so no grain whisky went into it. A while ago for some odd reason, I thought all of the Compass Boxes were grain whiskies and I couldn't tell you why that thought was there to save my life. Oh well.

As for my name "As for your moniker: Interesting how you honed in on one of the 6's from the Disney spoof with the word "Whisky" instead. " I'm super distracted right now as I finish last minute prep for trip to Scotland (we fly out tomorrow) but I'm very curious as to what you meant! Would you please go into more detail for me? :)

8 years ago 0

Newkophile commented

Appreciate all the above comments especially as I finally found a bottle at a liquor store in south Florida some 30 miles or so from where I live, and for only $55! It is a wonderful blended (or vatted if you prefer) malt that I have only just begun to really savor. Ralfy did a very interesting review of both the current Spice Tree and the original version which had to be discontinued due to objections from the Scotch Whisky Association. Here's the link: www.youtube.com/watch

6 years ago 0

You must be signed-in to comment here

Sign in