Compass Box releases new blends, ups transparency bid

3rd May, 2016 by Kristiane Sherry

Independent whisky bottler Compass Box has released blended Scotch expressions Enlightenment and The Circus as it continues its Scotch Whisky Transparency campaign.

Compass Box has released The Circus (left) and Enlightenment, as it continues its transparency campaign

Compass Box has released The Circus (left) and Enlightenment, as it continues its transparency campaign

With the initiative, the company is calling for a change in legislation that will allow EU spirit producers the “freedom but not the obligation” to publish the age of all components included in their blends.

To date, more than 7,000 whisky producers and enthusiasts have voiced support for the drive.

Backing up its campaign, newly released blended malt Scotch Enlightenment has been described by the company as “a whisky to ponder the world of Scotch not only as it is, but as it could be”.

“By law, we’re not allowed to tell customers the age of the component whiskies used to create Enlightenment,” said Compass Box founder, John Glaser.

“We can tell you that Enlightenment is a blend of malt whiskies from the Clynelish, Glentauchers, Balblair and Mortlach distilleries. We can tell you that you will find a bright apple and pear quality on the nose, soft spice and light citrus fruit notes on the palate with a mouth-watering finish full of an alluring apple peel waxiness. We can tell you the casks the whisky was matured in – but crucially we can’t tell you how long for.”

Commenting on the name and pack design, Glaser continued: “The name comes predominantly from the fact that the whisky is an incredibly light, bright style – but we’d be lying if we said there wasn’t another message there too. We were attracted to certain themes from the Age of Enlightenment – the questioning mind-set that epitomises that era, the way the traditional orthodoxy was challenged and broken down through logic rather than brute force. People will draw their own conclusions about the name but let’s just say it seemed a fitting one for us.”

Non-chill-filtered and bottled at its natural colour at 46% abv, 5,922 bottles of Enlightenment will be available in Europe from 18 May and the US from 1 June priced at £60 / US$85 / €79.

‘Old parcels’

Released alongside Enlightenment is The Circus, a released composed predominantly of old parcels of Scotch.

Bottled in March 2016, the expression comprises two parcels of blended Scotch were married with one of blended grain Scotch whisky and a smaller proportion of single malt Scotch whisky from the Glen Ord distillery. All have been aged in sherry butts.

Glaser compared The Circus to The General, a whisky that was “unusual” in its combination of old parcels. While different in character, “it retains the sense of mystery around the component casks”.

2,490 bottles of The Circus have been made available, with the non-chill-filtered whisky bottled at natural colour at 49% abv. The expression will be widely available in Europe from 18 May 2016 and in the US from 1 June 2016 priced at £190 / US$275 / €235 SRP.

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