Compass Box has released an extension to their signature range with the addition of Orchard House (£42 RRP, 750ml; 46% ABV)!
This whisky sets itself apart from the rest of the core range: not only does it use malt spirit sourced by Compass Box nearly a decade ago, but the lighter oak influence allows the fruit-forward style of these spirits to express themselves. This makes it a standout all-rounder in the brand’s line up of blended malt Scotch whiskies.
Orchard House is our first core range whisky produced almost entirely from whiskies we have aged since the day they were distilled. In a sense, it’s more ‘our whisky’ than anything we’ve made before.
We are so proud of this. Something new, something different for us. Something joyful. And delicious!
– John Glaser: Compass Box founder and whiskymaker
The majority of the recipe is made from stocks of spirit purchased from distilleries renowned for their fruit-forward flavour. These spirits are then aged in a variety of casks, with the resulting blended malt Scotch whisky creatively aligned with the artistry and innovation which Compass Box is known for.
Orchard House brings aromas of apples, pears, and peach with hints of pineapple, Earl Grey tea, and peat. On the palate the blended malt Scotch whisky offers notes of apple juice, banana, honey, and strawberry, with oily textures and subtle peat. The finish is layered with vanilla, hints of cocoa powder and creaminess.
The whisky is very approachable: light in style but full and concentrated in character. James Saxon, lead whiskymaker on this project, recommends enjoying Orchard House on the rocks. It will also ably partner with amber and pale ales.
Additionally, the Orchard House bottle is adorned with some fantastic artwork, created by strangerandstranger.com. With Christmas in mind, Orchard House is sure to excite whisky-lovers and newcomers alike!
So, what did I think? Here are my tasting notes …
Tasting Notes – “Orchard House” Blended Scotch Whisky (46%)
Nose: Orchard fruits with apple most prominent and some sugary sweetness. There’s citrus, mainly orange, accompanied by toffee. Some herbal mint and tropical fruits make an appearance later.
Palate: Sugary, cane fruity sweetness with rich, creamy toffee, vanilla and those tropical fruits make themselves pleasantly known!
Finish: Hints of tropical fruiiness and smooth, gently growing, spicy finish with which is a little dry at the end.
Overall: A goto whisky for sure and one that didn’t disappoint! There’s plenty going on flavour-wise and an excellent choice for those new to quality whiskies. And it’s devilishly morish to boot!
I tried Orchard House on the rocks and James Saxon – you were correct!
Compass Box is available to buy from these Merchants:-
Once again, many thanks to @CompassBoxWhiskyCo (Instagaram) for sending me the sample!
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.