The Compass Box The Circle

50 ml mood generator mini

[This whisky is the result of a collaboration between Compass Box founder John Glaser, Compass Box wheiskymaker Jill Boyd, and Rosey Mitchell, the 2018 winner of The Circle, Compass Box’s program designed to inspire bartenders around the world (presumably to use more Compass Box at their bars). Rosey apparently called this one “sunshine in a glass.” Let’s see if we agree…]

Tasting notes:
On the nose, we found a dog straining at the clynelish. [John: Bill, that was a wonderfully terrible pun!] [Bill: Don’t draw attention to it! I was trying to be sly, damn you!] [John: Damn me?!? Tamdhu!!!] We also found tar from La Brea that Jacques Pepin improbably and impeccably works into a new coq au vin recipe. No sunshine yet, but a fair amount of illumination.

But the mouth, oh the mouth! So so nice! It’s butter smooth, with honeyed vanilla flavor, and fruit that’s either been creamed or mixed with cream or both. It fills your senses–and in a wonderfully balanced way. It comes together amazingly well, presenting with notes of weird wood made into quotidian furniture (magnolia, sassafras, peach tree). Imagine the branches, while still green, woven into a chair and other bits lathe-turned into a plant etagère–like something from a North Carolina furniture factory run by Dr. Moreau. 

The finish recalls leaning back on the French Riviera, under a cool breeze and warm sun. It’s very marzipany in the best possible way: Marzipan Bundt cake, Marzipanicathedisco, Marzipanicotta, Iron Butterfly’s follow-up album to In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida. Sunshine in a glass, indeed–and so much more!


On the scale of unexpected hits–

The Compass Box The Circle is Iron Butterfly’s gallon of Red Mountain Wine-inspired “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”–Taking up the whole second side of the vinyl album, this 17 minute extended jam with simple lyrics only at the beginning and the end of the song is a perfect mood piece–and one that has the added benefit of providing the listener with the requisite mood. It’s a wholly self-contained mood generator and extender.






–Our thanks to Compass Box for the sample!


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