Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Whisky Discovery #92

Compass Box Oak Cross NAS (43% abv)
Blended Malt Whisky
Circa £33.00 70cl

Compass Box Oak Cross
For our third dram of Compass Box delights Céline poured an Oak Cross for us

Oak Cross, the second of their Signature Series, is a blended malt whisky, and comprises entirely of Highland single malt whiskies from the villages of Brora (fruitiness), Carron (meatiness) and Alness (perfume).

Compass Box have been working with a small mill in France that produces some of the highest quality cooperage oak in the world. This has led to experimenting with secondary maturation of malt whiskies in casks fitted with new French oak heads. This is something no one else in Scotland does. The result is whisky with more character and complexity. This technique is used on about 40% of the whisky in Oak Cross and it results in a superior finished product.

A rich, medium-bodied blended malt whisky, named Oak Cross because it offers the best characteristics of both American and French oak aging.  Oak Cross combines vanilla characters from American oak and spicy, clove-like characters from French oak.

All whiskies are between 10 and 12 years old and from casks chosen individually, cask-by-cask, to ensure perfect maturity. All the whiskies are aged for their primary maturation in a mix of American oak cask types. The marrying casks are a mix of first-fill Bourbon barrels and our proprietary “Oak Cross” casks made of American and new French oaks before bottling. Oak Corssis bottled at 43%, it's not chill filtered and naturally coloured.

So what did I think?

A charming blended malt, very smooth with light notes of clove vanilla accent, a sweet maltiness and subtle fruit character.  Not my favourite of the Compass box range we tasted, but it wasn’t far behind and I’d be very happy with a bottle of this on my shelf, a big thumbs up from me!

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