Malt Mileage Rating: ★★★★
Type: Blended malt
Bottled: August, 2016
Spice Tree Extravaganza is a limited edition whisky which Compass Box have released 10 years after its release of the original Spice Tree. Compass Box were forced to cease producing the original Spice Tree because the barrels which matured the whisky had used inner oak staves that were deemed “untraditional”. On one interpretation of laws regulating the Scotch whisky industry – which, importantly, was favoured by the regulators – the use of these inner staves was (and is) seen to be unlawful (because the use of these staves is “untraditional”). So, whisky matured in barrels which contain these inner staves would also not be compliant with the regulations.
This new Spice Tree, named the Extravaganza, is inspired by the original Spice Tree. It comprises of ‘older components’ and a ‘significant portion’ of it is from sherry-cask matured whisky. Though, obviously, there are no inner staves used in the barrels which mature the whisky that go into this blend (because that would be naughty). The blend contains whisky from Clynelish, Dailuaine, Teaninich, Glen Ord, Benrinnes, and Allt-a-Bhainne.
Nose: Sweet, oily, nutty, and very sherried. It is like sticking my nose in a pack of banana lollies. Beyond the delightful, and very aromatic, lolly shop sweetness, are crushed walnuts, varnished wood, fresh ginger, and clove. There is blackberry sauce and hints of cinnamon. After some time, fragrant soft licorice develops. In the foreground is orchard fruit, such as nectarine and peach. The glass, once emptied, smells of fig jam.
Taste: Syrupy and sweet, there is sticky date with caramel and mixed dark berries. The sugars are dark and caramelized, rich and rummy. Also find dark chocolate rocky road, warming ginger, ginger bread, lots of clove and winy sherry notes. There are also hints of pepper and eucalyptus.
Finish: Dark cherries preserved in brandy and fortified wine dominate, with sweet picked ginger, wood spice and banana bread. Then, there is sweet and sugary blackberry compote and rummy, dark molasses. All the magic fades, slowly, into powdery chocolate and more vanillas with lingering cola.
Overall: Got a sweet tooth? Well, you just may be in for a treat with this whisky; find oodles of rich sugars and sherry with the warming caress of spicy ginger and clove throughout.