Compass Box Transistor

”Who Let the BrewDogs Out”

Whisky Review # 902

Country: Scotland
Brand: Compass Box Transistor - BrewDog's Boilermaker Series
Type: Blended Scotch Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 43%
Maturation: Mix of 1st Fill American Oak Barrels and French (Vosges) Oak Casks
Chill Filtration: No - Only a light 5 Micron Filtration
Sample provided by Mauricio from Brazil. Many thanks!
Average Price: US$ 60 (February 2021)
Price/Quality Ratio: 😑 Slightly expensive for what it offers
Buying Advice: 😴Boring. It's said to pair well with the BrewDog Punk IPA though!


Chardonnay (Natural Color)


Please give Transistor a little time in the glass before Nosing in order to get rid of some serious initial waves of Grain Alcohol. There's not too much going on in this department I'm afraid. The Aromas are comparable to your slightly above average Blended Scotch. It's a bit less harsh suggesting a higher percentage of Malt Whisky. The Nose is Sweet and Creamy with Fruity, Cereal and Floral notes. No off-notes but nothing of particular interest as well. Reasonable Cask Management.

Main Aromas:

Toasted Grain, Buttered Toast, German Butter Biscuits, Orange, Lemon, Fresh Herbs, Bounty Bars, Oak, Dried Figs, Cinnamon and Cloves.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Vanilla, Caramel, Butterscotch, Yeast, Apricot-filled Pastry, Apple, Green Grapes, Raisins, Grapefruit, Wet Stones, Pepper and Nutmeg. A distant hint of some Campfire Smoke.


Young, Thin, Dry, Bitter-Sweet, Fruity & Creamy. The Grain Alcohol remains ever present and overpowers the Malt Whisky. It's not bad but you don't have to wake me up for it.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Grains, Buttered Toast, Bounty Bars, Seville Orange, Grapefruit, Cinnamon, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cloves, Ginger, Oak, Fresh (Mint) and Dried (Coriander) Herbs.

Supportive Flavour Accents:
Honey, Caramel, Butterscotch, Candied Apple, Dried Fruit like Raisin & Figs, Lemon, Wet Stones, Marzipan, Smoke, Iron and Roasted Nuts.


Middle-Long & Bitter-Sweet. A few Sour notes as well. Quite Dry towards the end. The Grain Alcohol remains noticeable. A bit Thin despite the acceptable ABV. I find Toasted Grain, Caramel, Vanilla, Honey, Seville Orange, Grapefruit, Lemon, Bounty Bars, Marzipan, Pepper, Nutmeg, Ginger, Cloves, Cinnamon, Menthol, Dried Herbs, Oak, Candied Apples and light Smoke.

Drinking Advice:

Due to the small size of the sample I only tasted the Transistor neat.

Rating: 82

Nose: 21- Taste: 20.5 - Finish: 20 - Overall: 20.5

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay/Good. On the Thin side.


John Glaser is one of the Whisky Makers at Compass Box, a Blending company in the UK. John's grandfather Jack from Chicago had the habit of drinking a cold Beer together with a Whisk(e)y of choice. This combo became known as a Boilermaker. Based on this, John, together with his colleague James Saxon and Steven Kersley, the Head of Distillation at Beer-Brewery BrewDog created a Blended Whisky that goes perfectly with the BrewDog Punk IPA. They called it the Transistor as the whisky amplifies the beer. I couldn't find the beer unfortunately but I can imagine that the Sweetness of the Whisky combines well with the bitter hops of the IPA. I hear that the combination works well so by all means give it a chance if you have the opportunity. Today I will concentrate on the Whisky as such, a blend of Grain Whisky from Cameronbridge and Single Malts from Linkwood, Teaninich, Dailuaine and Clynelish. Transistor is only for sale in the UK.

This Whisky was specifically made to pair the BrewDog Punk IPA and unfortunately I was not able to taste them together. On a stand-alone basis however, the Transistor is a reasonable Blended Scotch Whisky without off-notes but also unexciting. Boring to be honest. And it's a little too expensive for a boring Whisky. If you are in a pairing mood 😬by all means go for it. But Transistor is not interesting enough as a sipping Whisky on its own.


Jan van den Ende                                                                     February 8, 2021

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