This is certainly not a pipe. Compass Box This is not a luxury Whisky 53.1%

The Treachery of images is a painting and philosophy that sums up much of the modern whisky world.

The painting by Belgian surrealist Rene Magritte is of a pipe with the words  Ceci n’est pas une pipe.” written underneath, for those who don’t know that’s French for “This is not a pipe”, the joke or story behind the piece is that the painting is not a pipe, the painting is an image of a pipe, still with me? No? Raise your game and keep up, how often do you get an art class from me?

Now, to cut the lesson down to the vignette you’re used to from me, the idea behind this whisky is that it’s to be consumed, far too many whiskies are hitting the shelves with luxury, rare, exclusive and in limited numbers, costing a fortune and for the investment market, this isn’t cheap, and it is limited but they do want you to open it, they are confident of the product within the bottle, still awake? Right, let’s get on with it I don’t have all night.

Nose. At first without water this is very heady, rich in sherry, there’s a sweetness too, rum like molasses and a very light touch of smoke. With water, only a few drops maybe 15% of the total glass and it opens up, a little bit more smoke now, fresh flowers, blackcurrant jam on burnt toast, the sherry comes out more too, that’ll be the Glen Ord from first fill sherry butts which makes up nearly eighty percent of this whisky.

Palate. I want to say chocolate and as it’s my opinion I will, a little heat, smoke but not much, it’s a rich taste, a wee bit of aniseed, oily on the mouth, burnt toffee, and those coconut mushroom sweets Marks and Spencer sell, rosewater.

The Finish is long and smooth sherry and oak stay in the mouth.

So, my conclusion, well a few years ago I would have struggled with this, It’s a complicated whisky and one that needs, in my opinion, a fair amount of water to really bring it out. It has a lot going for it though and there is a beast lurking within a bear carrying a chainsaw in this whisky, something to take your time over, leave in the glass for a good twenty minutes before you start on it but life is all about living and drinking whisky like this reminds you that whisky is very much for drinking.

C’est Magnifique and all that and thanks to Chris at Compass Box for slinging me a couple of drams.

The Captain.

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