Compass Box have launched a new bottling: Magic Cask blended malt scotch whisky. This is limited to 5,538 bottles worldwide, priced at £145 RRP. Bottled at 46% natural colour and without chill filtration, this expression is made from a blend of Speyside malt whiskies, and takes its defining character from the inclusion of whisky from one Sherry-seasoned cask. In 2016, Compass Box re-racked one-year-old malt spirit of robust character into first fill Oloroso-seasoned butts. By 2019, one particular cask – #2 – proved so compelling that they began to experiment.
Compass Box Founder and Whiskymaker John Glaser says, “Sometimes just one cask in a blend of many can provide the touch of magic that allows the whole arrangement to sing. We first took advantage of this phenomenon in 2006 when an experimental whisky, finished in an ex-Madeira barrique, led to the Limited Edition bottling we called Magic Cask. We’re delighted to be able to share with you again the magical influence of one exceptional cask – a Sherry-seasoned cask in this case – can have on a recipe.”
Magic Cask Tasting Notes: Aromas of marmalade and chai tea spices, with hints of plum. Ripe golden dessert apples dominate the luscious palate, supported by an oaky richness. Flavours of toffee and cocoa powder are also conjured up. The Compass Box whiskymakers recommend pouring the whisky after dinner and savouring its medley of autumn fruits and dark chocolate.
Whiskymaker James Saxon says, “We have had samples of whisky from the lost Imperial Distillery in our Blending Room for some time. Aged in first fill Bourbon barrels, the spirit is brimming with fruit and vanilla notes and exhibits a lovely tongue-clinging texture. However, finding the right project and accompaniments to this parcel of single malt proved a challenge. Then, last year, we discovered cask #2 amongst samples drawn from our 2016 Sherry cask maturation experiment. Full to the brim with cherry fruit and cedar spice character, it was a remarkably precocious whisky. When combined with the parcel from the lost distillery, it created an exceptionally rich and layered blended malt Scotch whisky.”
Magic Cask joins Limited Edition whiskies Hedonism Felicitas, Rogues’ Banquet and Peat Monster Arcana, which were released in 2020, Compass Box’s 20th anniversary year. And if you'd like to try this new whisky then you can find it on Compass Box's website here.