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Compass Box unveils 20th anniversary release

Scotch whisky maker Compass Box is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its Peat Monster expression with the release of a limited edition bottling.

Compass Box Peat Monster
Peat Monster Cask Strength: Origin Story is bottled at 56.7%

The Peat Monster Cask Strength: Origin Story celebrates the beginnings of the popular bottling, which was first created in 2003 after Jonathan Goldstein of Park Avenue Liquors joined forces with Compass Box founder John Glaser for the exclusive release.

The heavily-peated whisky was so successful that it was released to the worldwide market in 2004, and went on to become one of Compass Box’s most popular expressions, according to the brand.

“It’s always been our mission at Compass Box to create compelling whiskies, even if it means breaking moulds – or creating new ones,” said Glaser.

The liquid is presented at a cask strength of 56.7% ABV.

Glaser continued: “Thanks to the early collaboration with Jonathan Goldstein, we created a quintessential peated whisky that has gone on to become one of our core expressions, still beloved by whisky drinkers two decades later and one that we’re proud to be celebrating with this cask strength limited edition.”

Today, The Peat Monster Cask Strength: Origin Story is comprised of a blend of Williamson Islay malt, aged in refill American oak hogsheads; malt whisky from the Caol Ila Distillery, aged in refill American oak hogsheads, American oak Bourbon barrels, and refill puncheons; and a Highland malt blend aged in custom French oak barrels with a heavy toast.

In addition, Compass Box has celebrated The Peat Monster’s US roots by recognising American coopers through a partial finishing of the blend. Approximately half of the whisky has been placed into barrels made from American white oak for three-to-four months.

These grain-seasoned casks, created by the independent Stave Company, have been air-dried for two years and toasted using a highly technical process before being sent to Scotland and filled with grain spirit for one year.

The resulting blend boasts “big blasts of smoke, cinnamon and tobacco notes”, according to the team.

On the nose, there are notes of sooty barbecue smoke, green apple and aromatic citrus oils, underpinned by warming cinnamon.

The palate offers hints of tarry, smoked almond that has mixed with the seasoned virgin oak for added richness and vanilla notes, as well as seaweed, cayenne pepper, and saltiness.

The bottle’s label was designed by acclaimed American artist Mark Burckhardt, and features ‘Dali-esque’ depictions of the monster against skyscrapers, smoking subway steam grates, and a glimpse of Central Park.

The latest release will see 9,126 bottles available worldwide, for RRP £105 (US$127.50) each.

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