The Compass Box Great King Street Experimental Batches

750 ml bottles of blended malt goodness

[We’re a little late to this game, since voting has just recently ended to see which of the two experimental batches will be the next addition to the Compass Box Great King Street Line (to complement the Artist’s Blend and the limited edition New York Blend). But here you can get a sense of what we thought of the two competitors before the winner is announced. Think of this as the political punditry that goes on between the time the polls close and results are announced. 
     And please note that for the time being, you can still buy both experimental releases in 500 ml bottles here. The first is code named 00-V4, and it contains a decent amount of whiskies aged in sherry.  The second, code named TR-06, is a peated expression.]

Tasting notes:
     It’s election season! Democracy prevails, and we all have a vote, a voice! Huzzah! That is, if you’re over 21 and/or are willing to lie about your age to a website guardian filter. (Stephen and John are 19-year old twins who I’ve been watching over ever since their parents died in a tragic accident when a pack of feral ferrets tipped over a kerosene lantern in the barn, but their age has never stopped them from on-line voting. You may wonder how I was named guardian and why I had them start drinking at the tender age of 14, but those are long stories for another day.)

     With the preamble over, let the Great King Street Residential Debate begin! Which expression will receive the nod, the will of the people, to be housed at 1600 Great King Street, a Resident of the World of Whisky? I am the moderator; I will ask the questions, and will keep things moving along.

Moderator: Question #1: If you were a nose on Mount Rushmore, would you mind if Cary Grant and Eve Marie Saint climbed on you? What kind of nose are you, anyways?

Sherry: I’m glad you asked that! I’ve always enjoyed being straddled by Hollywood stars—so, yes!—and I see myself as swaddled in crisp white linen, tightlly woven, back fresh from a start-up ecologically-minded dry cleaner. I’m also into Prunus Mume, tea crackers, and cherry blossoms on a warm spring morning in the DC area.

close-up of “Sherry”

Pete: Of course you’d see yourself that way: Virginal (did you say “Prudes Moon”?) and fruity.

Moderator: Pete! Prunus Mume is Chinese plum wine. Please respect your opponent and speak to your own strengths.

Pete: By contrast, I am muted peat, glowing and round, evoking bright yellow flowers that aren’t daffodils or anything too frilly; and I fancy myself as a neuroscientist rewiring the corpus collosum, fundamentally altering the relationship between spatial and language capacities.

Sherry: In other words, you’re confusing?

Moderator: Sherry!

Pete: In other words, Sherry, I open an imbiber to an entirely new kind of experience. For the win?

Sherry: Hardly. I also get nectarlicious bee farts in B minor. Not to mention a fruit-leather buzzsaw cutting logs of celery and beets. Yes!

Pete: A rebuttal, please. How does a bee fart hold a candle to a cedar plank holding a half-burnt pignon incense cone, set alongside a lemonade with mint leaf garnish and a sprig of sage? All, of course, inside a peat-heated bothy.

Moderator: I think we need to move on. Question #2: Tell us about your mouth or mouthfeel, or how you feel about mouths.

Pete: I hate daylight savings time.

Sherry: Non-sequitur!

Pete: He asked how I felt about months.

Sherry: Mouths! Mouths, not months! Can we just declare me the victor and be done with this?

Pete: Ah, my mouth articulates the peat in a nuanced fashion; really, almost a new way. It pronounces it P-E-A-T as if said by a pull-string updated garbage pail kid. I am known to prefer a diverse set of mouths, truly, mouths for all seasons and reasons, and mine especially can be called tangy, luscious, oily, and lipid-y. If you lined your closet with peat logs, you’d have a sense of what it’d be like to chew on a merino wool sweater come fall.

Sherry: Not bad for an aged guy with hearing problem who’s been living in a barrel in an old warehouse. DON’T INTERRUPT ME! As you’d expect, I have a creamy mouth, especially rich.

Pete: Oh, a one-percenter? Is that all you have? Because I’d like to talk about finishes, as in, “You’re finished.”  

close-up of “Pete”

Moderator: Please! Let’s move. Question #3: How does your finish align with your mouth, how does it stand alone, and how do you feel about shots and shoot-outs in overtime?

Sherry: I’m glad you asked. I like an assertive, hot finish; hot like Fred Astaire in Top Hat and Tails, staccato tap-dancing his way into and around a room, gracefully dominating it. More than that: I like a slow napalm burn like an ex-Army Colonel uses in his backyard to destroy a kudzu infestation. (His husband wants to know where he got the napalm, but the Colonel is strictly by-the-book “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”) I’m in favor of pummeling a pomelo and letting it all linger like a house haunted by Casper the Friendly Ghost. I like the smell of nostalgia in the morning and I believe in warm babies, sunlit forests, equality for all, and a finish that fades away like a coyote call in the prairie of the heartland of America.

Pete: More concisely than my opponent would have it, I let liquid drain away to reveal the essences that remain. In this case, arrowroot and diamonds on the soles of the tongue, peat cherubim wafting atomizers of glory, a peat desert sunrise in the mountains, a broiled chicken in every pot, and a good Habano cigar in every coffee mug.

Moderator: Who will be elected Resident of Great King Street? Were I to recap, I’d say Sherry made a very strong case at the outset, but Pete came on very strong in the end. So, elector, voter, participant in this great experiment of Democracy: How did you vote? Personal preference matters, but the greatest good for the most people matters, too. We hope you made your voice heard, though unlike most every (human) political election, it’s very hard for you to go wrong.



–Our thanks to Robin Robinson and Compass Box Whisky for the samples!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.