Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Whisky Discovery #96

Compass Box ‘Orangerie’ (40% abv)
Infused Blended Scotch Whisky
Circa £31.00 70cl

The Scotch Whisky Infusion 'Orangerie'
Our final tasting at Compass Box Whisky was their infused whisky ‘Orangerie’.

Due to the very strong flavours, we were served our dram in a small plastic pot, as if we had used our Glencairn we were told we would be tasting it for the rest of the afternoon!

Orangerie is an infusion of Scotch whisky and natural ingredients, which complement the whisky and enhance its overall aromas and flavours. It cannot be called Scotch whisky, as it has taken on flavours from the infusion of fresh, hand-zested peel of Navalino oranges and subtle accents of Indonesian cassia bark and Sri Lankan cloves.

The earliest orangery in Britain was built in the late 1500s by Frances Carew. It was there that Queen Elizabeth 1st visited and probably tasted oranges for the first time. In the 18th century, building an orangery became the height of fashion, particularly in Scotland. In London, two landmark orangeries were built – Kensington Palace in 1705 and Kew Gardens in 1761. The inspiration for the name of this whisky infusion came while visiting the orangery at Kew.

The whisky used is to make Orangerie is a soft, sweet blend of Highland single malt and single grain whisky from Fife. Only the freshest, highest quality oranges and top class, aromatic spices. Importantly, the fruit is zested by hand and only fresh zest is used in this infusion (no synthetic flavourings or oils). They state that only the hand-zested peel of really fresh Navalino oranges will give you the lively, vibrant flavours that are the hallmark of Orangerie. It is bottled at 40% and as with all of the Compass Box whiskies it is not chill filtered, and naturally coloured.

So what did I think?
Incredible aromas of fresh-peeled orange and Christmas cake spices rise from the glass – it really is unbelievably orangey! On the palate the rich, yet soft whisky flavours blend with hints of vanilla and exotic spices all offset by sweet-natured orange.

Whilst it was very different and very nice, I don’t think it is for me. I’m not sure I would turn to this at home. I needed a lot of water to restore my tatsebuds which I then cleansed with a second helping of my favourite,The Peat Monster!

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