The Art of Blending: John Glaser

Oct 04, 2017

The Art of Blending: John Glaser

Compass Box Scotch Whisky

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What is Scotch Whisky?

At its simplest, Scotch whisky, often simply called Scotch, is whisky made in Scotland in a manner specified by law. The laws governing its production and maturation make it different from every other whisky produced elsewhere in the world. In Scotland, two types of whisky are distilled: Malt Whisky and Grain Whisky. From these two types come five classifications; Blended Scotch Whisky, Blended Malt, Blended Grain, Single Malt, and Single Grain. At Compass Box, they make all three types of blends.

About John Glaser

Back in 2000, John Glaser believed there were too many companies making and selling Scotch whisky the same way. An American, transplanted to the UK and working for a large distiller, he wanted to do things differently to bring the joys of Scotch whisky to more people.

So, he set up a different kind of Scotch whisky company, based on the long-lost model of the Scotch whisky blending house, but with a forward-looking approach and an unrelenting desire to create quality. He originally launched the business from his kitchen, but today, over a decade later, Compass Box has an office and Blending Room in London, its own stocks of maturing whiskies in Scotland, and just over a dozen employees.

In an industry that has steadfastly remained committed to ‘the way we’ve always done things’, at Compass Box they focus relentlessly on creativity, process innovations, and exploring the many ways we all can enjoy the pleasures of Scotch whisky.

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The Whiskies

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Compass Box Asyla

A blend of soft, fruity malt whiskies on a bed of rich, sweet grain whiskies. All whiskies aged in first-fill American oak casks to yield the trademark Compass Box style: soft, rich, vanilla-tinged, delicious.

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Compass Box Oak Cross

Oak Cross offers the best characteristics of both American and French oak aging. A rich, medium-bodied blended malt Scotch whisky, Oak Cross combines vanilla characters from American oak and spicy, clove-like characters from French oak.

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Compass Box Hedonism

The aromas and flavors hint of vanilla, caramel, and delicate fruitiness, accented by flashes of coconut in the finish. This is a whisky that will appeal to both the ardent whisky enthusiast and newcomers to whisky alike.

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Compass Box The Spice Tree

Aromas and flavors of clove and ginger set against a berry-like fruitiness and maltiness. A blend of three Highland single malts, finished in custom-made casks fitted with new French Oak heads.

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Compass Box The Peat Monster

Peaty, smoky, with touches of burnt ropes, buttressed by a malty sweetness. A blend of heavily-peated single malts from Islay, Mull, and the Highlands.

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Compass Box Orangerie

Fascinating aromas of fresh-peeled orange and Christmas cake spices rise from the glass. On the palate, soft, rich whisky avours blend with hints of vanilla, cassia bark and clove, offset by sweet-natured orange.

Great King Street Blend

Great King Street Artist’s Blend

“Sweet vanilla ice cream, stewed pear tart, and peach melba, but then a wave of spice and white pepper provides an unexpected but delightful twist.” -91pts, Whisky Advocate 

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Great King Street Glasgow Blend

Full, rich and smoky on the palate, with notes of baking spices and sherry wine notes. In his 1930 book “Whisky”, Aeneas MacDonald teaches us that Glaswegians historically preferred fuller bodied and more flavor-packed whiskies.

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Compass Box Variety Pack

Includes: one vial of 50ml of the Asyla, Oak Cross, Spice Tree, Peat Monster, and Hedonism, with a link to a series of tutored tasting videos, hosted by John Glaser himself. All this presented in a fine, black, lacquered wooden box along with a self-guided tasting mat.

To learn more about Compass Box, check out their website here.