Compass Box The Circle No. 1
Compass Box // Scotland
LagunaSurferTasted139.0 USD per Bottle
piechefguyTastedSampled at a tasting event held by the "Sonoma County Single Malt Society". I recognize the irony here. Nose: Dark sugars, oak, light ethanol punch, smoke, and peat. Flavor: Sweet right up front, vanilla, mildly peaty and smoky, buttery, kind of boring and smoky. Finish: Lightly spicy, medium length finish with baking spices and less smoke and peat than I'd expect. Very hot on the finish. I wanted to like this based on the story but there just wasn't much flavor happening here. Very subtle in a boring way.
jonwilkinson7309TastedHappiness is making a restaurant reservation at a place that has great ratings and a fantastic menu, and discovering that (a) the food is exceptional, (b) the ambience is perfect, and (c) there are some exceptional whiskeys to be had. The wife and I decided to spend Labor Day weekend in Rhode Island, and went to dinner at Persimmon on Federal Hill in Providence. Once we were seated, i asked for and received the spirits menu. While not a huge list, it was quality from top to bottom. Most exciting to me were two high end Compass Box offerings that I had yet to try - The Circle and Affinity. The Circle is new enough that it's only been on my radar for a couple of weeks. I've been intrigued because (a) it's Compass Box, and (B) it has one of the most awesome looking label designs I've ever seen. The nose has oak, bright fruit, and cream. The palate is the same although the oak is much stronger. Overall, it's very smooth and quite lovely. In contrast to @DHSILV2 (and the wife, who, who tried it as well), I didn't get any smoke. I did get heavy oak with with some char thrown in. Overall, given the stated goal of producing a whisky that is light and easy drinking but very flavorful, I'd say they hit the target squarely. However, the question of price is hard to avoid. I love Hedonism and Spice Tree, the first of which is less expensive than The Circle, while the later is less than half the price. While those have different flavor profiles, I'd say that each is more complex and ultimately more enjoyable than The Circle. On the other hand, neither is as eye catching on the shelf. So I'll be left to contemplate whether the label is enough to put The Circle over the top. This may be the first time (and hopefully the last?) that a label gets a whisky to "buy" status.Persimmon
dhsilv2TastedThe Circle - This one was a bit of an unknown and good surprise. So lets get the details out there. Tamdhu 78.38% and it's between 15 and 19 years old. Then a sherry butt from Clynelish makes up 14.8%...aged...on the younger side of above. And then Highland Park, bourbon barrel, and a pretty common older age, 20+ years old. There you go compass box, I didn't share the ages! Oh and then younger highland malt makes up the last 1.5%. Color is pretty light golden. It doesn't look older and it surprises me on the sherry butt in there. 46% perhaps lightening it down. The nose has some nice barrel char surprisingly, light red fruit, vanilla, and dare I say some smoke? Flavor - it's just nice. Apples, touch of oak, nice sweat malt, some vanillas, and yeah there's a light smoke. Creamy mouth feel though it won't take water (the cream is killed). The 46% is sadly about 1% too low for a decent amount of water for me to play with it. Water does bring out some bite from the citrus notes and normally I'd think there's spice there but really this is clean no spice. Finish - oh yeah i get a wood and I swear smoke linger on the finish as the sweat flavors fade out. Not a long finish but it's on the long side of medium. So the question is if this is 150 dollars good? I honestly at first taste loved it but felt it was a bit over priced. Having now gotten is down to the top of the label (the compass box gold part so not THAT much) I'm really starting to appreciate this one. This really is as they call it "sunshine", it's sweat, balanced, complex, but it lacks the really complex notes you'll get with more aggressive notes. At first I took this to be a "lesser" note, but I completely disagree with that now. They've created a perfect day time sipper to have with friends. I'm not one to give more than a 3 score often. A 3 is a really high quality whisky, but this is priced right and just kills it. This would be a 4.5 from a lot of people.150.0 USD per Bottle
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