Compass Box Flaming Heart 5th Edition (2015)

Scotch Review #109: Compass Box Flaming Heart 5th Edition (2015)

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Distillery: Blend. Make up according to this site:

  • 27.1% 30 year old Caol Ila from refill ex-Bourbon cask
  • 24.1% 20 year old Clynelish from a scraped/re-toasted ex-Bourbon cask
  • 10.7% 7 year-old blend of Highland Malts (Clynelish, Teaninich, and Dailuaine) in New French Oak “Hybrid” casks
  • 38.5% 14 year old Caol Ila from refil ex-Bourbon casks

Region: Blend

ABV: 48.9%

Age: NAS

Price: $34 for a very heavy handed pour in a hotel bar in Kansas City

Color: Didn’t record the color. Natural Color and Non-Chill Filtered


Nose: (according to the wife) Burnt, toasted wood. Little bit of sweetness, a little bit of bitterness, but mostly loads and loads of smoke.

Palate: It’s a really creamy dram. There’s a bit of smoky, almost smoldering, wood with some smoky peat as well. A bit of sweetness from the malt pops in. Overall, it reminds me of that taste in the air as you walk into/walk by a barbecue restaurant. The air is just laden with the wonderful juicy flavors of smoky meat with a hint of sweetness from the wood and rub. With a little bit of water, candied ginger comes out and there is a little less of the charred wood.

Finish: Medium in length but far shorter than I’d expected. More of that lovely barbecue smoke and that charred wood.

Conclusion: Earlier this summer, the wife and I went down to Kansas City to celebrate her finishing her dissertation. At the bar of the hotel we were staying at, I found a bottle of this hiding away behind a few Johnnie Walkers (which the waitress tried to convince me to order more than a few times). Thankfully the bartender knew what the heck I was talking about and pulled it down for me. It’s almost like you’re breathing and drinking in the essence of a barbecue restaurant. You get some lovely smoke all throughout with hints of sweetness with a little bit of juicy meat drippings. I do wish it was a little less straight forward than it is but it’s still a lovely dram and quite fitting for Kansas City. Would I buy a bottle? Maybe.

Final Score: 82.

Scotch Whisky review #109, Blended Whisky Review #10, Whisky Network Review #140


Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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