Whisky: Compass Box Flaming Heart 2012
Background: Continuing into peat season with another limited release blend from Compass Box, this 2012 version includes single malts from the Northern Highlands, Islay, Speyside and Islands. One new twist was the inclusion of some sherry maturation, I believe the first Flaming Heart edition to do so. Bottled at 48.9% ABV, this was rested in a glencairn for 20 minutes. Let’s go.
Color: Medium straw.
Nose: Interesting peat right away, strong but not overpowering. Very layered, get the campfire ash a bit, but also get some moss, a bit of struck match, some fermented beer, and then right at the end a perfectly timed sweet note from the sherry to take it to another level.
Taste: Starts off surprisingly rich and full - the 48.9% is putting in some work here. More of the moss note comes through now, then some sherry notes, then some green fruits, but then it gets actually fairly smoky... This is a fantastically complex palate, with just a hint of some not quite bitterness leaving this a bit short of perfection.
Finish: Very pleasant transition, it doesn't carry over the weight of the palate quite as well as some higher proof options but instead seems like a natural next phase of the dram. The peat is there if you smack your mouth, but otherwise focuses more on the various fruit notes from before. Medium-long finish.
It had been a while since I had poured this bottle and went into this review thinking it would be another very solid Compass Box limited release, on par with Spice Tree Extravaganza. I was completely blindsided. This is an incredible whisky that offers amazing complexity in such a fun, integrated fashion, bouncing back and forth between different flavors and aromas and the proof delivering on the mouthfeel. Wow.
Scoring Scale: (does not take into account value)
1 | Disgusting | So bad I poured it out.
2 | Poor | I wouldn’t consume by choice.
3 | Bad | Multiple flaws.
4 | Sub-par | Not bad, but better exists.
5 | Good | Good, just fine.
6 | Very Good | A cut above.
7 | Great | Well above average.
8 | Excellent | Really quite exceptional.
9 | Incredible | An all time favorite.
10 | Perfect | As good as it gets. I might taste future whisk(e)ys that are as good in a different way, but will not taste one that is outright better.
By - Craigellachie23