Sunday, 12 June 2016

Whisky Discovery #1747

Compass Box Enlightenment 46% abv
Blended Malt Scotch Whisky
circa £60.00 70cl
One of the latest limited edition releases from those clever folk at Compass Box, Enlightenment is their response to the recent hullaballoo after their full disclosure on their last releases.

‘There is no desire more natural than the desire for knowledge.’ – Michel de Montaigne

John Glaser says “Since launching the Compass Box Whisky Co., I have always been a firm believer in the spirit of enlightenment – that the more information we can share with our customers about the Scotch whisky we produce, the better. Alas, it transpires such beliefs fall foul of current EU and UK regulations, which prevent us from sharing information about the age of every component whisky used in the creation of our blends.”

He goes on; “Inspired by the writers, philosophers and scientists of the Age of Enlightenment it sets out to encourage the industry to consider the absurdity of a system that prevents producers from telling consumers exactly what has gone into the whiskies they are drinking."

Concluding; “And of course the whisky itself is something rather special. A blend of fruity, fragrant Highland Single Malt Scotch Whiskies, it is bursting with aromas of fresh orchard fruit, flavours of vanilla, soft spice and pear and an alluring apple peel waxiness on the finish. An uplifting, enlightening whisky with which to ponder the world of Scotch not only as it is but also as it could be.”

Bottled in April 2016 this limited edition release is as expected from Compass Box, is of natural colour and non-chill-filtered. A total of 5,922 bottles were filled at 46% abv and it should be available worldwide.

So What Did I Think?
We’ve long been fans and supporters of Compass Box whiskies and admire their quest for full transparency. This blended or ‘vatted’ malt as previously known, is a marriage of just four distilleries. The overwhelming majority of the blend consists of Clynelish and Glentauchers with Clynelish getting the lion’s share. Malt from Balblair and Mortlach make up the balance, and while the ages are not disclosed on the packaging or press releases, I’m sure you can ask next time you see any of the Compass Box team and they’ll tell you.

The nose certainly hints at some older matured whisky lying within. There's an abundance of waxy orchard fruits, crisp rosy red apples in particular but I was also noting softer Comice pear. Beyond these orchard notes, there were fragrant floral notes reminding me of orange blossom. Malty biscuit notes alongside the sweetness of icing sugar

Taste; Beautifully balanced with fruit, wood, and spices. Dried apple notes were leading the fruit, while pencil shavings brought the woody element to the fore. Peppery spices completed the flavour triangle for me.

Verdict: Loved it! I must admit I don't think there has been a release from Compass Box I haven't loved. I might not be able to afford them all, but I have been fortunate to have tasted most of the releases, certainly over the last five years. Enlightenment has a lovely balance of flavours and at around £60 is certainly A 'bang for your buck whisky'. I loved the label too.

Many thanks to Compass Box Whiskies for the sample and the opportunity to enjoy this at my leisure. Would I buy it? Yup, it's certainly within my whisky budget

Slàinte! Dave

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