Compass Box – Story of the Spaniard (Batch 1)

The Story of the Spaniard is a blended malt whisky (that is to say, multiple single malts but no grain whisky) that is composed of malts aged in ex-sherry (48%) and Spanish red wine casks (25%). The vatting is bottled without added color or chill filtration at 43% ABV. As usual with Compass Box, all of the information you could possibly want is available online except for…

Templeton Rye

Historic rye from the town of Templeton (which would have been made by numerous farmers in the area, not just one) was, again purportedly, a favorite of Chicago gangster Al Capone. Of course today’s Templeton whiskey is not actually based on any antique recipe, it’s just four year-old 95% rye mash-bill bulk straight rye from LDI/MGP in Indiana, which has been proofed down and bottled using local Iowa water. I guess adding water to something now qualifies as “making it”

Longrow Peated

People who have been around this industry for awhile will probably remember Longrow C.V., and can rest assured that Longrow Peated is that same cult favorite in a new dress. … It is fully peated and aged in ex-bourbon without any sherry cask influence. It’s also not chill-filtered, has no added coloring (indeed it’s quite pale), and has no age statement. I’d place it somewhere around 9 years, but it’s hard to tell since it’s possible for a blend of ages to be used in NAS bottles.

Breaker Bourbon

Breaker comes to us (by way of some place in Kentucky, where they actually distill bourbon) from Santa Barbara county, and the name and bottle labels are inspired by the wave ‘breakers’ on the nearby California central coast. … small batches from actually small batches of 8 sourced barrels of high-rye bourbon, each at least 5 years of age, and bottles at 45% ABV.

Lagavulin (8 year)

We have here an 8 year-old Lagavulin bottled at 48% ABV, and so pale that it’s almost clear. This was originally released as the distillery’s 200th (bicentenary) anniversary limited edition, but has since been added to the core range. With that, the information available online dries up. To my palate, this seems to be missing the sherry portion found in the 16-year. Like the 12-year, I would guess this is entirely from ex-bourbon casks.

George Dickel Rye

Here, we have something different. This is not actually a bourbon (nor a Tennessee Whiskey), but rather a MGP-distilled (that would be in Indiana) 95% rye whiskey that has been subjected to the above charcoal chill-filtration process. I am now obliged to point out the bald-faced hypocrisy of a label that…

Pig’s Nose Blended Scotch

Unlike the other animal references, which are slang phrases that evolved from whiskeymaking, Pig’s Nose refers to the whisky being as “smooth as a pig’s nose”. I’ll have to take that one on faith, having never personally felt the nose of a pig. The blend contains 5 year-old grain whisky from Invergordon as well as 5 single malts…

Balcones Texas Rye (100 Proof)

All Balcones whiskeys are pot distilled in batches and bottled without chill-filtration or added coloring. This particular bottle (which sounds downright placid next to siblings like Blue Corn Whiskey and Texas Single Malt) is distilled from a mash bill of 100% rye, including Elbon Rye from Northwest Texas and crystal, chocolate and roasted rye malts.