Compass Box Enlightenment

Compass Box: Enlightenment (Scottish Blended Malt Whisky: 46% ABV)

Visual: Pale grain.

Viscosity: Medium speed and thickness streaks.

Nose: Waxy. Menthol. Warming alcohol. Meringue. Watercress. Water adds watermelon, bright green apples and jolly ranchers.

Body: Smooth. Waxy. Lemon curd. Pomegranate. Apple crumble. Alcohol is present. Water however soothes the alcohol, adds lots of apples and pears. Honey. Meringue.

Finish: Pomegranate. Pumpkin. Watermelon and seeds. Apples. Light woody and malt chocolate. Slight jolly ranchers. Water adds pears.

Conclusion: Another very interesting one from compass box – the elements are so well defined that you can distinctly identify what they were aiming for with this and what they very well achieved as well. It takes a couple of the less common whisky elements and mashes them together into this new form.

First up is that it is waxy, very much so, along with a thickness that reminds me of Ben Nevis’ spirit. What I find interesting is that most other waxy whiskies that I have tried have also been quite heavy – while everything else about this whisky pushes the other way with light and fruity notes.

The base seems to initially built around thick lemon curd and meringue, however they hang off it everything from pears to watermelon. It really is a green fruit delight, pushing the range far past the usual set of apples and pears. What is really nice is how the elements mix – the waxy character and fruit notes blend in a way that remind me of jolly ranchers, but without the artificial sweetness.

It is especially impressive that it has so caught my imagination as the first impressions actually didn’t grab me. The waxy character dominated the aroma, along with slight watercress greenery. I got the impression is was going to be too light yet dominated by alcohol notes. The first issue was resolved by sipping it which showed the range of character. The second issue was resolved with water. The aroma never really comes into its own, but the rest is so fine I can forgive that.

Another good example of what you can do by blending malts.

Background: Another kind gift of a sample of whisky from Independent Spirit, and one that allows me to try these very different whiskies from Compass Box. Again, many thanks! Compass Box are doing a quite cool thing, trying to get signatures to allow the full contents of a whisky, including all age statements, to be allowed to be shown on a bottle. Interesting, and as long as full information is give, a worthy cause I feel. What we know currently is that this is a mix of first fill American oak Clynelish, Glentauchers and Balblair, and rejuvenated American oak Mortlach. Over 80% of the spirit is the first two, with the remaining 15% aprox made up of the last two. Drunk while listening to some Swamp and Coitus Futon – had been at their duel EP launch gig earlier in the week and had grabbed their CDs.

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