The nose on this dram, which is a blend of Scotch Whisky and Calvados, opens with funk, but it’s deep, dark, red, overripe apple cider funk. The woodiness is freshly quartersawn European oak that’s then soaked in two year-old redwood resin wine. It’s a sophisticated, deep, layered woodiness we’re talking about here. So sophisticated, in fact, that…what is that note? Cloves?!? [John: In my youth, I smoked clove cigarettes and was very sophisticated in doing so. What? Why are you coughing like that, Bill? Why do your coughs sound like the word… Oh.]
The mouth is odd to a whisky drinker’s palate, but far from off-putting. Instead, it’s spicy and rich: the French Oak casks are doing a lot of work here. There’s also a grassy/wheaty/oaty [Bill: Choose your own adventure!] note on the mouth, with a lightness that is paradoxically substantial, but also so cereally, it’d float in milk.
There’s an aroma of toasted oats on the finish, with mid-palate, general low-level spice-churn (it’s not hot enough to be a “burn”) that lasts a medium while. There’s also a bit of a resiny/tannic after-burp on the finish, not unlike the lingering of a deep tobacco note from a dark brown cigar. [Bill: We can do after-burp notes now?!? This changes everything.]
On the scale of two great tastes that taste pretty good, even surprisingly good, together–
The Compass Box Affinity is a slice of cheddar cheese atop a slice of apple pie–It’s weird at first, especially insofar as it adds a strange vector to an iconic national creation. But soon, the logic of it enters your brain via your tastebuds and slowly convinces you of its validity. But mere validity can not a preference make, so alas, it’s not likely ever to replace a scoop of vanilla ice cream as the chosen accompaniment.
–Our thanks to Compass Box for the sample!