Thanks to /u/Boyd86 for this sample.
Whisky and Music seem intertwined on a regular basis. Perhaps because of the sheer amount the late Lemmy drank, or before him the sheer amount the rat pack drank. Or Metallica’s drinking habits. Or the amount of people who got drunk in life while listening to Music.
The other parallel is the idea of solos versus groups playing together. We’ve all heard amazing combinations of vocals, guitar(s), drums, and too many instruments to list come together into something amazing.
On the other hand, we’ve also all heard various solos that stick with us. Pearl Jam’s “Alive” immediately comes to mind in this case. Or at least it does for me after playing it in Rock Band multiple times.
Just to note: I have zero rhythm and can’t play an instrument worth crap. I’m basing all of this on enjoying music and what little I know, so feel free to say I got it wrong.
So where’s the parallel with whisky? Well I like to think of it as blends versus single malts. We all love a good solo, however a blend is an interesting thing. All of these different flavours vatting and marrying together to make a good flavour.
So I’ve reviewed a few Compass Box offerings to help boost the amount of collaborations that I’ve reviewed. See if I can find some cool songs to go with all the great solos.
Up first we have Compass Box Asyla. Asyla is the plural of asylum, so maybe that’s my way of saying I’m really crazy for not reviewing these together.
I’ll figure out something to write, don’t you worry.
This blend uses at least 50% malt whisky, and all whiskies in it use first-fill American oak casks. Thus I’m impressed. It’s named for multiple homes for the mentally infirm and uses quality ingredients. Let’s see how it tastes, shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO at the moment
Colour: 7.5Y 9/6
Nose: Pear, caramel, butter, raw alcohol, almond, white chocolate
Very light. I see why they recommend this as a Appertif whisky: It starts the nose dancing and is quite sweet.
Wait, did I say nose dancing? Maybe I’m taking the whole music = whisky thing too far. It’s nice. There’s a raw aspect to it, which I’m assuming comes from the grain whisky being a little bit younger.
Taste: White chocolate, pear, musty, arugula
On the one hand, I like the interesting sweet notes that lend more vanilla/cream and, in this case, come together (for my brain) to form white chocolate.
On the other hand, there’s this musty, peppery, earthy flavour that doesn’t work here. It’s throwing it all off.
If I have to go to my feet for the last point: I’m not loving the lack of complexity here. It’s not screaming first fill cask depth, more… meh.
Finish: Brine, apple, menthol, lemon, oak, vodka, sand
The finish is the most complexity this one has, and I appreciate that. The big oak is here, however so is the raw alcohol.
Grain whisky, as I’ve said before, is like people: Better as they age. Even better if they are finished off with something interesting to make them better.
Conclusion: As a nice whisky to have before a meeting, this is the tops. But when it comes to being complex, it’s cursed.
Music lyrics aside, I think there’s a good start here. It’s in need of something to amp it up. I blame the grain whisky not being old enough. Perhaps it’s the low Abv. Or maybe the mix didn’t jingle my bells. End of the day, it’s nice, but not something I’d buy a bottle of. Maybe have it to start the night, or recommend to new whisky drinkers.
It’s better than most blends out there, which I appreciate.
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