Compass Box has released Peat Monster Arcana as part of its 20th anniversary year. It is the result of a long-running experiment into the secrets and mysteries of oak and smoke.
A cask strength version of The Peat Monster was further matured in three French oak custom casks for more than two years; it was then blended with malt whiskies from the Talisker, Miltonduff and Ardbeg Distilleries in order to complement the richly spicy and more subtly smoky profile that developed.
Now Available globally, Peat Monster Arcana joins limited edition releases Hedonism Felicitas and Rogues’ Banquet to celebrate their anniversary.
We have been experimenting with French oak since the early days of our company. Peat Monster Arcana is the first Compass Box to feature smoky whiskies matured in French oak.
We’re delighted to be able to build on this experiment in our 20th anniversary year and we hope dedicated fans of The Peat Monster discover a new side to this charismatic whisky.
– John Glaser: Compass Box Founder and Whiskymaker
It is a truly delicious release and one that has taught us so much about the influence of French oak. Of course, there will always be further mysteries to explore.
– James Saxon: Lead whiskymaker for Peat Monster Arcana
John Glaser will host a Virtual Tasting of Peat Monster Arcana to talk about the past, present and future of Compass Box on Sunday, 22nd November at 20:00 GMT.
It is open to all who would like to attend.
So, what did I think? Here are my tasting notes …
Tasting Notes – Peat Monster Arcana Blended Malt Scotch Whisky (46%)
– Natural colour. Not chill-filtered.
– 8,328 bottles produced globally
– £75.00 (70cl)
Serving Recommendations: Peat Monster Arcana rewards experimentation. Explore how the addition of water or soda reveals new textures or discover how its sweet smokiness reacts with different foods.
Colour: Pale straw.
Nose: Peat n’ smoke – lovely and lots of it! Smokey fires and smokey clothes! Sweet white wood. creamy coffee.
Palate: Sweet and fruity with lots of smoke and peat but the peat is more in the background than I expected. Lovely creamy chocolate.
Finish: More of the same and the cane sugar sweetnss balances the smoke very well. Antiseptic, licorice and it’s quite peppery as well with a dry tanin mouthfeel at the end.
Overall: The fruitiness was a very pleasant surprise to this dram – I really wasn’t expecting it! It manages to stand it’s ground against peat which is no mean feat!
I love the peat aromas – very much a ‘hanging around bonfires too long’ vibe to it!
Tasting Notes – Compass Box ‘Hedonism’ blended grain whisky (43%)
The world’s first Blended Grain Scotch Whisky. A unique vatting of Scotch grain whiskies from top quality American oak casks.
– Natural colour Not chill-filtered
Colour: Pale straw.
Nose: Powerful, sweet, tropical fruits!
Palate: Thick mouthfeel. Plenty of sweet tropical fruits, cherries and banana.
Finish: Intense finish with lots of tropical fruitiness still going on. A little pepper just to compliment.
Overall: Tropical fruit heaven! quite a sweet whisky – surprising!
ABOUT COMPASS BOX
We are Scotch whiskymakers. This word ‘whiskymaker’ is our word – it does not appear in a dictionary. And for 20 years we have been relentlessly focused on reinventing Scotch whisky, with every new blend designed to help make the world of whisky a more interesting place. Of course, we have not done it on our own. We have collaborated with some of the world’s most visionary bartenders and designers to really push the boundaries of what is possible. We have won more awards for innovation than any other producer in Scotland because we are always experimenting. Always looking for sparks of creativity that will deliver something totally compelling, yet completely surprising. Whiskies that just must be experienced. This vision motivates us as whiskymakers. Our blends are consistently rated equal to or better than the great single malts of Scotland by the most respected voices in the industry. Six-time Whisky Magazine Innovator of the Year. 2020 Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame Inductee, John Glaser, Founder of Compass Box.
JOHN GLASER, WHISKYMAKER
American ex-pat John Glaser is the founder and head whiskymaker of Compass Box, the boutique Scotch whisky blending house widely recognised in the industry for their innovative approach to the creation and enjoyment of whisky. John began his career on a path to become a winemaker, before re-routing himself through the corporate world and ending up as a Marketing Director for Johnnie Walker in London. With a desire to do things differently, John started Compass Box from the kitchen of his west London home in 2000 in order to bring the joys of Scotch whisky to more people. From the beginning, his vision has been to create one of Scotland’s finest and most compelling whisky companies, re-imagining the standards for quality and style in the industry. In 2020, John was inducted into the Whisky Magazine’s Hall of Fame. Two decades later, Compass Box now has two blending rooms in London, a team of 20 working internationally and stocks of maturing whiskies in Scotland. In 2020, Compass Box celebrates its 20th anniversary. With a forward-looking approach and unrelenting focus on creativity and integrity, John and his team continue to take forward his mission to make the world of Scotch whisky a more interesting place.
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