I got the little Compass Box 50ml sampler as an Xmas gift from a fellow enthusiast and thought I'd take the time to try at least one tonight. The sampler includes this, The Story of the Spaniard, as well as Spice tree and Peat Monster. Excited for all 3 of these! Let's start with the Spaniard. I'm going into this with no prior knowledge of what casks are used. Neat in a Glencairn.
Nose: Ripe, sweet citrus fruits jump out first. Orange marmalade, ripe lemon zest, a tad bit of white grape juice, and a small hint of something grassy. This reminds me of what Monkey Shoulder should have been. After sitting for a while I get tart raspberries and plum too.
Palate: Ok, so we have sherry at play for sure. A drier sherry. Similar notes as the nose with white grapes, red grapes, chocolate fudge enters the stage, then some more tart raspberry and blueberry. A decent balance of sweetness and tartness.
Finish: More of the same on the medium length finish. Tart berries, a sugary sweetness, and some vanilla and honey show up at the end. A nice transition on the finish. I enjoy the tart fruits here more than on the palate.
Blithering: After writing these notes down I looked this up on Google. Massive kudos to Compass Box on their transparency. This whisky is a vatting comprised of 60% malt whisky from the Clynelish distillery, 20% malt whisky from the Dailuaine distillery, and 20% malt whisky from the Teaninich distillery. It is called The Spaniard because, duh, they use Spanish sherry and red wine casks (among others.) They provide a handy facts sheet which I will post below. This is an enjoyable, quaffable whisky with a nice balance of sweet and tart flavors.
Fact sheet: compassboxwhisky.com/images/whiskies/…