Maker: Compass Box, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.
Style: Blended Scotch whisky.
Michigan state minimum: $40.
Appearance: Medium amber (natural color)
Nose: Peat, malt, sherry, rubber.
Palate: Full-bodied and moderately sweet. Toffee, dark chocolate, burn
Finish: Sooty but sweet.
Parting words: Compass Box, known for its blended malts, got into the blended whisky business back in 2011 with their Great King Street Artist’s Blend, named for the Edinburgh street on which their headquarters is located.
What’s the difference between a blended malt and a plain old blended Scotch, you may ask? Well, a blended malt (formerly known as a vatted or pure malt) is a blend of various single malt whiskies. A blended Scotch is single malt blended with grain whisky. Grain whisky is whisky that is made with grains that are not malted barley. It’s usually distilled in a column still (single malts are made in pot still) to a higher ABV than single malts, for less flavor. It’s made to be blended, although it can occasionally be found bottled on its own by independent bottlers. Compass Box actually bottles a grain whisky under the name Hedonism. My review of it is here.
Anyway, Great King Street Glasgow Blend was released in 2014, as a smokier counterpart to Artist’s Blend. It succeeds in that effort. In fact, it was even smokier and peatier than I thought it would be. The result is a blend that is a good, lower cost alternative to smoky Islay Single Malts, for people who enjoy that style. Great King Street Glasgow Blend is recommended.