Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Whisky Discovery #290

Great King Street 'New York Blend' (46% abv)
Blended Scotch Whisky
£60.00 750ml (from Compass Box Website)
Great King Street New York Blend
Another fabulous label design from Compass Box
We feel really lucky to have been able to taste this, the first release from Compass Box's Great King Street brand of blended whiskies. New York Blend is the first of it's limited release regional blends and was launched on Saturday, October 27th, 2012 at the New York Whisky Fest in Manhattan. Only 1,840 bottles were released and it was available primarily in the New York metropolitan area and via the Compass Box Whisky Company web site. 

A review sample arrived at Whisky Discovery HQ just before Christmas, However checking the Compass Box website it is available on the UK, although for how long I wouldn't guess.

So how did this all come about? I initially read about it in Whisky Advocate blog, where John Hansell explains how he asked John Glaser if he would create a new whisky and debut it for them at WhiskyFest New York. John thought this would be a great opportunity to start a series of regional blends, something he'd wanted to do for some time.

John made two key discoveries that inspired this one-off, limited edition bottling. One was an ancient New York Times article describing an 1890's bartender named Patrick Duffy who was responsible for instigating the importation of branded Scotch whisky in glass bottles for the first time into New York. The second was an old Scotch blend recipe from a Glasgow blending house from the same era. John fashioned a blend based on the old recipe dedicated the bottling to Duffy, and the New York Blend was born.

The New York Blend uses lots of peaty single malts, plenty of sherry cask-aged single malts, and a much higher proportion of malt to grain whisky (80%/20%) than is typically used today (generally 30%/70%).

As with all Compass Box whiskies this is bottled with no added colouring and without chill-filtering.

Compass Box plans more Great King Street regional blends in the future, but for now there are no details of where or when, so to make sure you're the first to know it would be a good idea to sign up for the Compass Box newsletter on their website (we have!)

So What Did We Think?

Kat: My nosing notes were rattled off: Malty, sweet, gentle smoke, citrus candied peel, Johnson's Baby Powder, Morning Dew.

On first taste I exclaimed 'Wow this is really nice, I think I might have to get a bottle of this.' Light and delicate on the palate, fresh, spicy cloves, gentle smoke, malty notes. Towards the end I was getting a bitter dark chocolate notes or coffee beans.

Dave: The high percentage of malt whisky in this blend is immediately evident on the nose leading with malty notes. Fruity notes of sultanas and sweet clementines develop shortly afterwards. There is less peat smoke than I was expecting especially when a quarter of the recipe is said to contain heavily peated single malts from Islay, it's there, but quite gentle

However the Islay peated malts certainly make themselves known on the palate. It starts off with with a light sweet toffee note before a spicy chilli heat takes over, all the while the soft peaty smoke hangs in the background. The spice subsides leaving a dark chocolate bitterness and a medium length gently spice finish

If you're quick you might be able to blag yourself a big US style bottle at the Compass Box Shop If you have tried this let us know what you think!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for describing this. I keep seeing it at Park Avenue Liquor and wondering. I shall wonder no more.

Gal Granov said...

Lovely stuff I'm in love. Great combo. Massive Islay and sherry. Good combo.