You would think that there would be a healthy dose of booze infused banter whenever two guys get together to do a bit of whisky taste testing, but the truth is that during these sessions, Limpd and I continually say “Don’t lead the witness!” whenever one of us blurts out something that we smelled or tasted. Basically, we’re trying to remove the “power of suggestion“, because as soon as one of us mentions a particular aroma or flavor, it’s tough to stay focused on our individual impressions of whatever we’re drinking.
During our tasting session of these two new Compass Box expressions, Limpd and I tried our best to stick to our mantra, and interestingly enough, we appear to have had similar experiences with The Lost Blend and Great King Street Glasgow Blend. Let’s get on with our review…
The Lost Blend
This new Limited Edition is a homage to our own ‘lost blend’ – Eleuthera – our first ever single malt blend that we sadly had to retire in 2004. It is also inspired by a short story written by O. Henry in 1907 “The Lost Blend” about life in a New York bar featuring two business partners who try to recreate a blend of spirits with close to supernatural properties. The Lost Blend is – if you will – our attempt to create a magical combination of whiskies, in the style of our lost Eleuthera. The result is this elegantly complex union of two fruity Highland single malts and a peaty Islay single malt. It will once again be lost after these 12018 bottles.
And here our impressions…
- ABV: 46%
- Appearance: Pale golden color.
- Limpd: Astringent at first, then florals, hints of sea salt, toffee, vanilla, tonic, and cinnamon.
- G-LO: A touch of light smoke, sea water, green apple, vanilla, and perhaps a bit of clove.
- Limpd: Nice blend of spice and sweetness to start. Some alcohol bite in the middle with a touch of vanilla. A bit syrupy at the finish with a lingering simple syrup and cinnamon flavor that reminded me of an extra syrupy Red Hot.
- G-LO: Much more intense than I was expecting. A bit of an oily mouthfeel. Starts off big with a good bit of peppery heat that is backed with some salt and light smoke. The pepperiness levels off and some creamy vanilla shows up. Gets fruity at the end with the pepperiness showing up again. The finish doesn’t linger for very long and is somewhat astringent.
Great King Street Glasgow Blend
In his 1930 book “Whisky”, Aeneas MacDonald teaches us that Glaswegians historically preferred fuller bodied and more flavour-packed whiskies than people in other parts of the world. So what better name for a whisky such as this?
In the GLASGOW BLEND you’ll find a rich vein of peaty-smokiness, underpinned by sherry cask-aged whiskies, full of dried fruit and wine character. The palate is full and round, with a sweetness typical of whiskies from our company.
And here our impressions…
- ABV: 43%
- Appearance: Once again, pale golden color.
- Limpd: This has a very subtle nose with hints of menthol, hibiscus, and cane sugar.
- G-LO: Much more alcohol vapor than I was expecting. Once it settles down, a good bit of smoke and fruit comes through. I’m thinking pipe tobacco and stone fruit along with vanilla buttercream icing and a touch of cinnamon.
- Limpd: Soft and sweet with a little bit of pipe tobacco and salty brine at the onset. After that, there’s some black pepper. The finish is quite short and a bit on the sweet side.
- G-LO: Given all the heat in the nose, this is surprisingly light on the palate with a thin mouthfeel. Lightly smoked from start to finish. Fruitiness with a him of cinnamon in the middle. A subtle and mellow finish with hints of vanilla buttercream and smoke.
The Lost Blend was definitely the more interesting of the two, but the ending was a wee bit of a disappointment. Overall, it was a very good and flavorful whisky. If it had a bit more punch at the finish, it would have definitely moved up a bit in the rankings.
As far as the Great King Street Glasgow Blend, we definitely enjoyed it, but weren’t blown away by it. This may have something to do with the fact that we tried this after we sampled The Lost Blend. Perhaps it’s subtlety was lost on us. We’ll have to try this again. For our first impression, we would call this a light and easy drinking, everyday dram. Good for sure, but not great.