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I'm not typically one for blended whiskies, but Compass Box whiskies can be the exception to the rule. Although my first peated whiskey was so heavy with smoke that it nearly made my eyes water, I've been finding pleasure lately with exploring peated whiskies that aren't quite as intense, like Balvenie's 14 year week of peat.
So imagine my delight when I discovered that my local fine whiskey retailer had some of Compass Box's Flaming Heart in stock. I just had to try it.
The nose is overrun with peat as with most peated whiskies but this one is a little different. There's a bit of an acidic tang about it, reminds me of raspberries and smoldering firewood.
The taste is quite stunning. It is sweet, smoky, tart and savory all at once. Initially the taste rolls in with a little bit of nuttiness that morphs into something sweet like milk chocolate. Tastes like a milk chocolate peanut cluster. Mid taste the tartness of raspberries bridges the sweet and smoky. That tartness gives an interesting mouth feel, almost prickly on the tongue. Savory smoke rolls in at the finish but surprisingly does not wash away the tartness which lasts mid taste to the end of the finish. The finish itself is long, oily and satisfying. Savory and tart at the same time.
Wow. This beauty really hits the full pallet. Another stunner from Compass Box.
This is nice. Sweet peat, green apples, pears, a pleasant amount of heat. Laphroaig ashiness, unsurprisingly, wields a pretty heavy hand here. And I think it's funny they dumped Flaming Heart '18, Arcana, and Nectar remnants in there; like they're just cleaning up house. It's very drinkable. That being said, this is a very hard sell for $230. I'm a Compass Box fanboy and if I had a sample beforehand, I would have enjoyed it, but passed on the full bottle. $130? Sure. But all I seem to do these days is complain about price, so maybe that's a me-thing.
One of my favorite new whiskies this year. Really drinkable for a heavily peated malt, and keeps me coming back for more. I guess being made from some of my favorite distilleries helps with this one. Pick it up if you can!