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96 points

Compass Box The General, 53.4%

With a name inspired by a 1926 Buster Keaton movie, only 1,698 bottles produced, and the news that one of the two batches is more than 30 years old, the clues were there that this blend was never going to be cheap. It isn't, but it's superb, rich in flavor that screams dusty old oak office, fresh polish, and Sunday church, with spices, oak dried fruits, squiggly raisins, and a surprising melting fruit-and-nut dairy chocolate back story.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2014)

95 points

Compass Box The Peat Monster 10th Anniversary Special Cask Strength Bottling, 54.7%

As you’d expect, solid peat is the first thing out of the glass, but this isn’t just a peat beast. Underneath are honey, dried fruit, and malt. The palate is all about balance, with honeyed malt, raisin, and oak spice all complementing smoky peat. A lush mouthfeel makes you forget it’s cask strength. A pure love note in a glass from Compass Box to Park Avenue Liquor.  (Park Avenue Liquor only)

Reviewed by: (Summer 2014)

95 points

Compass Box Hedonism Felicitas, 53%

Compass Box Hedonism Felicitas bottle. Rich and sweet aromas of toasted coconut, honey, ripe pear, green apple, and honeysuckle. The palate is resplendent in golden honey, creamy vanilla, tangy peels, and pepper, with the higher ABV pushing it on and on. Compared to Hedonism Quindecimus and The Muse, this is richer, with greater complexity, and the subtle interplay between the fruits is outstanding. Unforgettably good whisky. (2,226 bottles) Collectibles

Reviewed by: (Winter 2020)

95 points

Compass Box Flaming Heart (10th Anniversary bottling), 48.9%

A marriage of three different single malts, aged in American and French oak. This whisky shows the advantage of marrying whiskies from more than one distillery (when properly done). Vibrant, with a complex array of fruit (orchard fruit, sultana), sweetness (light toffee, marzipan, honeyed malt), spice (creamy vanilla, mocha, warming pepper), smoke (tar, smoked olive, coal), and lesser notes of toasted almond and beach pebbles. More smoke and tar on the palate than the nose, yet always in balance. Well played! (Editor's Choice)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2010)

94 points

Compass Box Vellichor, 44.6%,

Honey, sanded oak, potpourri, charred oak, banoffee pie, dark fruits, green olive, coffee grounds, ginger, pepper, and a savory leather note: plenty for the olfactory senses to grapple with. Soft fruits, maltiness, berries, chocolate, plum, bramble, red apple, and gently supportive spices to taste, it develops a superbly thick and chewy texture with a waxy mouthfeel on the finish. I consider this among blender James Saxon’s best work to date. (3,246 bottles) Collectible

Reviewed by: (Summer 2022)

94 points

Compass Box The Peat Monster, 46%

The formula for this whisky has changed slightly since its inception -- and I think for the better. They've added some Laphroaig into the mix of Caol Ila and Ardmore. This whisky demonstrates the layered complexity that can be achieved by marrying whisky from different distilleries and different regions. I particularly enjoy the rich maltiness and oily texture that provide firm bedding and flavor contrast to the classic Islay notes: tar, boat docks, brine, smoked olive, seaweed, and kiln ash. More subtle cracked peppercorn, mustard seed, and citrus fruit add complexity. Long, warming finish. Amazing how a small change in composition can significantly benefit the overall flavor profile of a whisky.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2010)

94 points

Compass Box Flaming Heart 2018 Edition, 48.9%

Refined elegant smoke, quayside ropes, liniment oil, waxed lemon, cake mix, ripe peach, and a buoyant maltiness, as Flaming Heart roars back with a vengeance. After the controversy surrounding the 15th Anniversary edition, this time it’s all about the whisky. Sweet tangy orange, bitter peel oils, dark chocolate, clove, peppercorn, and nutmeg glide into menthol, spice, beeswax, and espresso on the finish. Solid gold: this is what they do best. (15,050 bottles and 800 magnums at $330) Editors’ Choice

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

94 points

Compass Box Phenomenology, 46%

The nose has honey, caramelized apples, Pixy Stix, pears in cream, faint pepper, ground coriander, and salty driftwood. It’s teeth-coating with golden syrup sugariness, the silky texture meting out pears, apples, sweet barley notes, and crunchy spices, before a vanilla phase gives way to black pepper, licorice, and smoke. Mouth-numbing finish of long-active spices over vanilla. (7,908 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2018)

93 points

Compass Box Spice Tree Extravaganza, 46%

Recognizably Spice Tree, but it’s richer, more dapper, traveling in style, and wearing better shoes. Peanut brittle, toasted coconut, and pale, light sherry. Honeyed palate with caramelized sugar, red apple, and red berry fruit before the gingersnaps and clove bite. It revs up with another spicy blast for the finish. A tasty fifth Tenth Anniversary bottling from Compass Box; just don’t let yesterday take up too much of today. (12,240 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2017)

93 points

Compass Box Flaming Heart 2015 Edition 15th Anniversary, 48.9%

Without dredging up all the brouhaha over the particulars of the component malts, this exemplary whisky has a balance you could rest on a pinhead. Earthy peats, discarded fish boxes, and crisp bacon rind combine in a smokiness you can really get into, while there is honey sweetness, macadamia nuts, and a bouquet of early summer flowers. It dances upon the tongue, sweet with toasted spices, anchored by dark citrus, and with a telling waxiness to the mouthfeel. Get some.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2016)

93 points

Compass Box Hedonism The Muse, 53.3%

Buttery vanilla, marzipan, honey, ripening melon, orange water, lavender, and muted spices lead to a gorgeous, rounded, sugar-sweet palate of vanilla, beeswax, citrus, ground almond, and shortbread. Precision-engineered to ensure the exquisite flavor never stops. (3,060 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Summer 2018)

93 points

Compass Box Oak Cross, 46%

This has long been a core whisky for Compass Box, but the latest version of it is spicier and fresher than I recall, and without doubt, it's my new best friend. Virgin French oak heads help to contribute oriental and aromatic spices on the nose, with hints of melon and pineapple candy sweets. The taste is a delight, with spearmint, soft toffee, sweet citrus fruit, lemonade mixed with beer, and strawberry wafers. An array of spices from cinnamon to chili to ginger dominate the finish.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2012)

93 points

Compass Box Great King Street Glasgow Blend, 43%

Honey, vanilla, poached pears in cream, driftwood bonfires, and a sprinkle of wood spices comprise a clean, focused, and well-balanced nose. A golden and silky palate of sweet honey, vanilla, white chocolate, and lemon zest, with plenty of body. Enter caramel; the smoke cuts to the front, outstripping aromatic spices, orchard fruit, and baked citrus flavors. Compelling and moreish: drink whenever it’s raining in Glasgow and you can’t go wrong.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2020)

93 points

Compass Box Spice Tree Extravaganza, 46%

Following the Spice Tree recipe of 60% Clynelish, 20% Dailuaine, and 20% Teaninich, Extravaganza’s core was matured for more than four additional years in light/medium toast, refill, and heavy toast hybrid casks of American and French oak. Finally, sherry-matured Glen Ord, Benrinnes, and Allt-a-Bhainne were added to the mix. The elaborate process is typical of maverick blender John Glaser, but it’s his results that count. Flavors of peanut brittle, toasted coconut, and pale, light sherry translate into a delicious honeyed palate of caramelized sugar, red apple, and red berry fruit. Ginger and clove provide further rigor before a finish of incendiary spices. Number 7 in the 2017 Top 20 

Reviewed by: (Winter 2017)

93 points

Compass Box No Name No. 3, 48.9%

The third installment in Compass Box’s gothic exploration of smoke, or the whiskies that shall not be named, builds upon their bewitching sequence of distillery duets. Pairing Ardbeg with Caol Ila, then Caol Ila with Talisker, blender James Saxon invited Laphroaig and Bowmore to dance for No. 3, underpinned by the familiar Compass Box foundation malts. There’s a charming balance of sweetness and peat, as the hardy coastal smokiness of Laphroaig is quelled by the ripe tropical fruitiness of Bowmore. The mouthfeel is satisfyingly creamy, with orange fondant, chocolate, honey, and apricot flavors tightly bound together by tendrils of smoke. Number 9 in the 2021 Top 20

Reviewed by: (Winter 2021)

93 points

Compass Box The Peat Monster, 46%

Compass Box Peat Monster bottle. The much-beloved Peat Monster was recently given a new recipe designed to create greater depth and elegance. The peat influence, while still omnipresent, is now more subtle. On the nose it’s gentle and fragrant, wafting over candied citrus, lemon-frosted cake, and raspberry, along with classic peated undertones of charcoal and iodine. The palate is creamy in texture, with pleasant notes of brine, seashells, ashiness, and a floral peat influence that swirls gently around rich vanilla, tropical hints of lime, smoked meats, and generous spice. The finish offers bitter chocolate, lemon hard candy, and a bang of spice and smoke. Number 9 in the 2020 Top 20

Reviewed by: (Winter 2020)

93 points

Compass Box The Double Single 2017 Release, 46%

Not seen since 2010, this yields vanilla frosting, menthol, spearmint, cream, dry spices, cedarwood, chopped herbs, and a discernable whiff of old grain. Silky taste of butterscotch; it becomes more honeyed, with creamy vanilla, dried banana, malt, and a pinch of cinnamon, pepper, herbs, clove, and eucalyptus. The yin and yang of Glen Elgin and Girvan makes an admirable exercise in precision, minimalist blending. Mad as a box of frogs.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2017)

92 points

Compass Box, Flaming Heart, Batch #2, 48.9%

Balanced Islay whiskies combine peat smoke characteristics with a sweet foundation. They’re not one-dimensionally smoky. This whisky is an excellent example. This is a peat-laden whisky with refinement and grace. Creamy vanilla, caramel, and honey harmoniously marry with persistent -- yet controlled -- peat smoke. Crisp spice notes and dancing fruit throughout adds complexity. Well done.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2008)