Johnnie Walker Island Green

Johnnie Walker Island Green – which should not be confused with Johnnie Walker Green Label – is a travel-retail variant of the Johnnie Walker Green Label bottling. The “Island” here refers to the Scottish isle of Islay, not some tropical island. Islay is essentially the opposite of tropical. Like the Green Label, this “Green” includes only…

Compass Box: Affinity

In a bit of a departure from my usual “whisky-only” reviews on this blog, I’d like to say a few words about Compass Box’s Affinity. If you haven’t been following the flurry of Compass Box releases lately (and why should you? Every g-ddamn one of them has been north of $150), you might not know that Affinity is actually a “spirit drink”, which is the only legal way to label a blend of Scottish whisky and French calvados (apple and/or pear brandy).

Gooderham & Worts Four Grain Canadian Whisky

The original G&H was a large Toronto distiller established in 1832 and which merged with Canadian mega conglomerate Hiram Walker in 1926. It functioned as a Hiram Walker plant until it was closed for good in 1990. The eponymous brand was re-released by current Hiram Walker owner Pernod Ricard in 2015 and is now distilled by Corby Spirits (which is mostly owned by Pernod Ricard) in Windsor, Ontario. …

Compass Box – Stranger & Stranger

…to be more specific about the makeup of this bottle, it’s 80% ex-bourbon Glenlossie, 14% ex-bourbon Glen Elgin, 5% ex-sherry Linkwood, and the aforementioned 1% of 1 year-old Girvan grain spirit. Note that the grain spirit is 1 year old because Glaser filled Girvan new-make into American oak barrels and “seasoned” the wood for a year before removing it. The “1%” in the blend is what was left in the barrels. I’m not allowed to tell you…

Compass Box – The Circle No. 1

…together, they created a blended malt scotch whisky that they describe as “Sunshine in a Glass”. It is comprised of a majority of first-fill ex-bourbon Tamdhu, about 15% refill ex-sherry Clynelish, a little ex-bourbon malt “from Orkney” (which means Highland Park or Scapa – I’d guess HP since it’s peated), and a scant 1.5% of Compass Box’s standard French Oak cask Highland blend. If you’d like to know the ages…

Big Peat

The liquid itself is 100% Islay single malt from the distilleries of Caol Ila, Bowmore, Ardbeg, and Port Ellen and is bottled without added color or chill-filtration at 46% ABV. The whisky is so pale as to be almost clear and bears a striking resemblance to Lagavulin 8 year, although the same could be said of most younger peated malts. That Port Ellen component is interesting, as Port Ellen is basically gone from retail markets.

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…