Malt Mileage Rating: ★★★★
Type: Blended malt whisky
Bottled: March 2016
Somewhat of a mysterious whisky, even Compass Box claim that they do not know much about the whiskies that make up the “recipe” for the Compass Box Circus; all that seems to be disclosed is that the whisky is made from old parcels of Blended Scotch and Blended Grain whisky that had been aged pre-blended in refill sherry butts for many years, and malt whisky from Benrinnes which had been aged in first fill sherry butts.
The Compass Box Circus is a limited edition release of 2,490 bottles worldwide.
The nose is dusty, vibrant and brimming with old fortified wine – find vanilla, fruit panettone, raisin, almond nougat, pistachio, nutmeg, citrus peel, varnished pine, saw dust and wood-glue.
On the palate the whisky is a textbook example of an old sherry matured whisky – the taste of sherry wood dominates over the spirit, with dried fruit (raisin/sultana, dried apricot), brandy filled dark chocolate, almond, tobacco, and the fumes from varnished antique furniture. The spice gradually builds, from a soft nutmeg roundness to more intense spices.
The finish is drying and astringent, with lingering raisin, dark chocolate, but more intense spice (cinnamon, black pepper) and the vaporous heat that warms a palate after a good brandy.