Tag Archives: The General

Compass Box The General

Compass Box The General Blended Scotch Whisky
Bottle 1625
53.4% ABV
$300 to $350
Website
TheGeneral-Bottle
What the Blender Says:
It’s been a good year for sourcing ridiculously rare parcels of extraordinary whisky.

Two different companies approached us recently with similar stories: they each had several casks of Blended Scotch that had been blended at quite young ages, then not required and put back into cask and left to age. One parcel was 33 years-old and the other was…well, I’m afraid I can’t tell you. (By telling you the age of the other parcel, some might argue we are in violation of the UK’s Scotch Whisky Regulations – citation 2009 No. 2890. But that’s another story.)

We know little of the component whiskies, only that, being Blended Scotch Whisky, they were blends of both single malt and single grain whiskies.
We could tell by tasting that some were aged in former American whisky casks and some in sherry casks. But the provenance wasn’t really important, because each parcel had matured into something extraordinary in flavour, and to us, as blenders, they each represented distinct and complementary flavour profiles.

And this is where things got interesting for us. While each parcel was compelling in its own right, we had the feeling that by combining them in the right proportions, we could make something even more interesting. So we experimented for many weeks, blending the two together at different proportions before landing on the recipe in this bottle.

The result is a whisky with the “antique” character lovers of old whiskies seek out.

Availability
Limited Release of 1,698 individually-numbered bottles. Bottled in November 2013.

Flavour Descriptors
It has extraordinary depth, with aromas and flavours reminiscent of spices, dried fruits and old sherry wine character. The palate is very soft, a
virtue of blending malt whisky with grain whisky, and the finish is very, very long.

Recommendations
This is a classic late-night-and-into-the-early morning whisky.

Bottling Details
Bottled at 53.4%
Not chill-filtered
Natural colour

What Richard Says:
Nose: Oh God, that is amazing. There is just something about old scotch. Light sweet sherry, orange marmalade, apricots, and old furniture polish.
Palate: Old book leather, fine aged tobacco, cinnamon, clove, cardamon, oatmeal raisin cookies, and rich old oak furniture.
Finish: A little dusty but in a good way. It’s like settling into an old leather arm chair in a gentleman’s study that was closed up for a while. There’s a dry oak and dusting of Dutch processed cocoa powder finish that lingers for what seems like hours.
Comments: Oddly, the best thing about this whisky isn’t even the whisky itself. It’s the conversation we (GBS members) had with John Glaser about this while tasting it for the first time. The guy’s knowledge and passion really shine through. This new limited release is the result of two blends that came into the possession of Compass Box. According to Mr. Glaser one is around 33 years old and of unknown province. This one came via a whisky broker. The other is around 40 years and came from Gordon and MacPhail. The uniqueness of this whisky has many layers. It’s very old. It is a blend of blends. And those blends were pre-blended and aged as blends subsequent to blending. The back story is almost as interesting as the whisky.
Rating: Must Buy

Compass Box, Empire State South, & The GBS

Last night I went to a Compass Box event featuring John Glaser at Empire State South with a few of the guys from the Georgia Bourbon Society including Dave whose new blog you can check out here. We had a blast but to be honest we usually do. The event was structured a little differently from whiskey events I attended in the past. We had the bar area of the restaurant and Empire gave everyone a Compass Box centric menu. The menu featured some tasty bits plus 0.5, 1, and 2 ounce pours of Asyla, Great King Street Artists Blend, Great King Street NY Blend, Oak Cross, Spice Tree, Peat Monster, Delilah’s, and Peat Monster 10th Anniversary along with some tasty cocktails featuring Compass Box whiskies. All were a la carte and not inexpensive. While we were imbibing Mr. Glaser was floating from table to table to answer questions and talk about his great whiskies and his craft. If you haven’t had a chance to meet John Glaser then I will tell you that he is a very approachable and knowledgeable gentleman who enjoys talking about what he does.

During the discussions with Mr. Glaser we got the background on the making of his recent Delilah’s limited release. This lovely whisky was made at the request of the owner of the namesake bar in Chicago. It was supposed to be a bourbon inspired easy drinking whisky that would go equally well with a beer or in a nosing glass. On both accounts Compass Box succeeded with flying colors. The secret to the blend is some 12 year old Cameronbridge single grain that Diageo was experimenting with in new oak barrels. This is the source to the lovely vanilla notes coming through. Delicious!

Toward the end of the night after we had certified our whisky-geekdom street cred Mr. Glaser comes over with a few small pours of The General. In addition to being amazing he also regaled us with the story of this bottling. This new limited release is the result of two blends that came into the possession of Compass Box. One is around 33 years old and of unknown province. This one came via a whisky broker. The other is around 40 years and came from Gordon and MacPhail. The uniqueness of this whisky has many layers. It’s very old. It is a blend of blends. And those blends were pre-blended and aged as blends subsequent to blending. The back story is almost as interesting as the whisky.

For those interested in The General your local options are limited. Tower is only getting a couple of bottles and those may already be spoken for. Call and ask for Matt. Green’s also has a few so that may be your best local option. I’m told that the only other retailer in Georgia getting any is Habersham’s in Savannah.

Our final piece of inside information was Mr. Glaser’s reveal of the next release. In the fall will be a release of Great King Street The Glasgow Blend. This will be a sherry smoky new addition to the regular line coming out of experimental work done in the European market. For those that don’t know Compass Box release a sherry focused experimental blend and a smoky focused experimental blend in Europe only. The purpose was to gauge interest in which direction they should go with their next blend. Apparently, it was split down the middle. As a result, the new blend will be the best of both worlds.

My only gripe about the whole evening is that I would’ve preferred a set price and whisky list similar to other tasting but it was a minor inconvenience. This was a great time featuring great whisky and a great whiskymaker. Fittingly, during April we will be featuring reviews of Compass Box whiskies here so be sure to check back. Oh, and we sort of made John Glaser an honorary member of the Georgia Bourbon Society too.

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