Compass Box 25th Anniversary Kensington Wine Market

Compass Box KWM.jpg

I’ve written before about Kensington Wine Market, a store in Alberta that has quite a whisky selection and is one of the places that I hit up when I’m out west.

I’ve also written quite a bit about Compass Box. Lately I’ve seen a sad drop in quality from their offerings, however I still like what they are doing, what they are pushing for.

As such, when I heard about Compass Box 25th Anniversary Kensington Wine Market, I expected more Clynelish in it. However since it was at KWM, I thought I’d look into it.

Originally this was suppose to be named “Fort Whoop-Up”, a notorious 19th century Alberta trading post. And that’s quite Canadian I think, us having a notorious trading post. It sounds quaint until you hear about illegal booze trading that went on, which based on how Canada acts about booze, is comparative to attempting to behead the prime minister.

The mixture in this Compass Box is composed of one-third old grain whisky that was aged in American oak, and the rest is spicy, smoky malt whiskies aged in American oak and sherry casks.

This was made solely for KWM, so let’s see how it tastes, shall we?

Price: $159.99 CAD at Kensington Wine Market

Region: Blend

Blend: A mixture of first-fill American oak, Sherry-butt, and New French Oak

Abv 45%

Colour: 7.5Y 9/6

Nose: Truffles, cereal, leather, butter, honeycomb, honeydew

Initial nose is quite decadent. There’s a rich earthiness, some cereal, and leather. Given time, more butter and wax/honey comes out. Because it wouldn’t be a Compass Box without some wax/Clynelish influence.

Truffles are the most dominant here. Not that I’m complaining.

Taste: Molasses, peach, cashew, dusty, caramel

Nice sweet aspect. I go looking for the earth aspect, or leather from the nose, yet it’s missing. Or rather it’s coming off as dust.

Beyond that, it is quite tasty, yet I wish there was a little more smoke influence on the taste.

Finish: Funk, wax, farmyard, brine, vanilla ice cream, lime zest, peat

Funky farmyard fun. Lots of rich vanillas, the right amount of wax, and lots of sweet acidity. Eventually it builds up peat, almost as if it knew I was complaining about the lack of smoke on the taste.

Lots of funk on the finish. If you’re a stereotypical principal in an 70s movie, you won’t like this, and your glasses will be askew.

Conclusion: Well I’m certainly glad I hadn’t given up on Compass Box. Yes, I was wary after some of the recent reviews, however this reminds me that they can do more than change the SWA for the better.

Lots of funk on the finish. It’s like a nice gorda or even a really good Springbank there. The nose is rich in truffles. The only thing I was sad about was the taste, as I wanted more smoke to round it out. That said, why potentially ruin a finish to save the taste? What, are we stealing from Paul to pay back Peter? Fuck Peter, that’s what I say.


Scotch review #734, Blend review #80, Whisky Network review #1219

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