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Compass Box closes out Extinct Blends line

Celestial is the fourth and final release in Compass Box’s limited edition Extinct Blends series, which pays homage to the blends of yesteryear.

Celestial is the peatiest of the four releases in the Extinct Blends series

Scotch whisky maker Compass Box is bringing its Extinct Blends series, which recreates iconic mid-20th century whiskies, to an end with Celestial. 

The fourth and final instalment in the series is the peatiest thus far, drawing on malt whiskies from Ardbeg and Caol Ila, resulting in a blend that showcases notes of tar and herbs. It is an interpretation of an older style of smoky Scotch whisky, one with extravagant flavour and maturity. 

“Celestial’s flavour profile elicits heavyweight peat smoke. Behind that is a gingery richness, notes of vanilla and grilled apples,” James Saxon, who was recently appointed as Compass Box’s whisky making director, said.  “The palate is dry and oak-forward, with meaty smokiness flowing onto cooked tropical fruits.” 

Compass Box first brought parcels of Ardbeg and Caol Ila together six years ago for the original release of its No Name expression. Celestial, which is meant to capture an epic flight through the night sky, is bottled at 50% ABV and available in the US beginning 4 April. It is priced at US$375, with 5,532 bottles available worldwide.

On the label, billowing clouds symbolise the complex columns of peatiness within the whisky, while cloudscapes and the night sky represent the ever-changing world of blended Scotch.

While Compass Box does not mention the specific blends it is attempting to recreate, it does offer clues for the savvy drinker.

Celestial in particular was inspired by a bottling produced from the 1950s and 1960s. Founded by one of the original ‘Whisky Barons’, the expression had connections to a distillery on Islay and one on Speyside. Upon opening a 1960s bottle of the whisky, one destined for the US, the Compass Box team was greeted with a ghostly peat note, abundant cask sweetness, verging on gingerbread, and a floral fruitiness.

Celestial joins Metropolis, Ultramarine and Delos to round out the Extinct Blends Quartet.

The new whisky comes just weeks after Saxon was named the new whisky making director at Compass Box following the departure of founder John Glaser, who will remain a stakeholder in the brand after bidding it farewell this April. 

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