Showing posts with label Compass Box Great King St. Glasgow Blend. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Compass Box Great King St. Glasgow Blend. Show all posts

Compass Box Great King St. Glasgow Blend

”Where the Streets Have No Name”

Whisky Review # 930

Country: Scotland
Brand: Compass Box Great King St. Glasgow Blend
Type: Blended Scotch Whisky - Batch GB 209 - Bottled: 2020
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 43%
Maturation: Mix of Bourbon & Sherry Wood with new French Oak Finish (3%)
Chill Filtration: No
Average Price: US$ 47 (September 2021)
Price/Quality Ratio: 👍 Okay/Good given the variety of the components.
Buying Advice: 😐 It's okay I guess but too Thin and Bland for me.


Golden Amber (Natural Color)


Young and on the Thin side. A mix of Sweet and Sour notes with Tart, Mineral and Smoky accents. The Sherry influence is rather limited. I pick up various Aroma and Flavor nuances but it takes a lot of time and patience.

Main Aromas:

Grain Alcohol, Malted & Toasted Barley, slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Vanilla, Dried Fruit like Apricots and Raisins, Toasted Pineapple, Lemon & Orange Zest, Smoked Fish, Shellfish & Bacon, Cold Campfire Smoke, Wet Mud, Grass, Leather, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Mint.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Demerara Sugar, Nectarine, Tart Apples, Strawberry-flavored Yogurt, White Chocolate, Roasted Nuts, Oak, Brine, Wet Rocks/Sand, Ashes, light Iodine, Pepper, Cloves, PVC Pipes and Olive Oil. Some Bananas from time to time.


Young, slightly Oily and on the Thin side. The Grain Alcohol is clearly noticeable. The Malt cask influence is limited. Laphroaig is the only Malt you can pick up reasonably easy. The Palate presents a mix of Bitter-Sweet and Sour notes with Salty, Herbal, Spicy and Smoky nuances.

Main Flavours:

Grain Alcohol, Toasted Malt, Salted Toffee, Vanilla, Grass & Straw, Campfire Smoke, Charred Oak, Wet Mud, Lemon, Grapefuit, Seville Orange, Toasted Pineapple, Smoked Fish, Shellfish and Bacon, Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger, Licorice and Menthol.

Supportive Flavour Accents:
Honey, Ashes, Iodine, Wet Rocks/Sand, Dried Fruits like Raisins and Apricots, Wax, Roasted Nuts, Dried Coconut, Herbal Tea, Leather, Tobacco, Nutmeg, Aniseed and Cloves. A hint of PVC Pipes.


Short/Middle-Long and again on the Thin side. The Grain Alcohol is clearly present. The same can't be said from the Sherry casks unfortunately. The Finish is a rather disappointing mix of Bitter-Sweet and Sour notes laced with Herbs, Spices and Salt. Quite Dry in the end. I find Grain Alcohol, Toasted Malt, Burnt Toast, Vanilla, Salted Caramel, Honey, Lemon, Grapefruit, Seville-Orange, Roasted Nuts, Dried Fruit like Raisins and Dates, Campfire Smoke, Wet Earth, Ashes, Charred Oak, Herbal Tea, Espresso, Dark Chocolate, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Cloves, Licorice, Aniseed & Menthol. A hint of PVC Pipes.

Drinking Advice:

Added Water turns this Glasgow Blend into a Laphroaig infused Grain Alcohol. Better sip it neat or, preferably, on the Rocks.

Rating: 82

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

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay

Drinking Experience On the Rocks: Good


First of all some information on this Blend and the series as mentioned on the label.

" The Great King St Range from Compass Box is dedicated to creating contemporary Scotch Whiskies in the full-flavored style of the great 19th century Blending Houses. In creating these Blends we drew on archive recipies from the golden age of Whisky making then updating them with our own 21st century custom cask maturation techniques. The result is a style of Blended Scotch unlike anything else available today".

"In the Glasgow Blend we have combined the smoky marine character of mature Islay Malt Whisky with the rich Fruitcake character of Sherry cask matured Speyside Scotch and the deep Vanilla richness of aged Lowland Grain. The combination is bold, peaty and sherried, a quite fitting Blend for the people of Glasgow who have historically preferred fuller bodied and more flavor-packed whiskies than their counterparts in other areas of the world".

This Glasgow Blend consists of 35,2% Single Grain Whisky from the Cameronbridge distillery matured in First-Fill Bourbon Barrels, 29% of (most likely) Aberlour Malt matured in First-Fill Sherry Butts, 18% of Laphroaig Malt that matured in Refill Ex-Bourbon casks, 9,9% of Clynelish Malt matured in First-Fill Ex-Bourbon barrels, 5,1% of (most likely) Benrinnes matured in Re-vatted Sherry Butts and 2,6% of a Highland Malt Blend containing (in the specific 2020 Bottling) 60% Glen Moray, 25% Tomatin and 15% Balmenach. Earlier batches contained Clynelish, Teaninich and Dailuane. The information provided by Compass Box is truly unique in today's Whisky world and highly commendable.

This is not an easy Blend to review. The P/Q ratio is quite okay and it's not bad when compared to the average Scottish Blends. But it's clear to me that Compass Box aimed to keep the price at a reasonable level and that shows of course in the ultimate Aroma and Flavor profile. The casks used for maturation of the various Malts were certainly not the most active ones, especially the Sherry Wood. As a result the Grain Alcohol and the Laphroaig Malt are the main drivers of this Blend. The ABV of 43% is not quite enough to carry sufficient other Aromas and Flavors to our Nosing and Tasting systems, resulting in a rather Thin profile. Compass Box wanted to produce a full-bodied and flavor-packed Blend to honor the tradition of the Glasgow people. I don't think they quite succeeded in doing so. This Blend will probably be more popular in areas Where the Streets Have No Name!


Jan van den Ende                                                                  September 29, 2021