Whisky Review – This Is Not A Luxury Whisky (Compass Box)

This Is Not A Luxury Whisky (Compass Box)

53.1% ABV

Non chill filtered

No Added Colouring

£149.70 from Master of Malt

But what’s in it?

‘Nuff said. We won’t go into the legal aspects of age but let’s say it’s very interesting. Drink on!


First sniff straight from the pour and we have some big sherried dark fruits bursting forward, with a backing if light medicinal peat smoke and a touch of light floral. Also, a rich vanilla ice cream cake! Given a few minutes to relax we have a lot of sweetness and fruits. Overripe apples, peach, honeydew melon. There is quite an intense spice note, hot on the nose, black pepper, fresh ginger. Creamy vanilla, Victoria sponge cake. 


Rich and intensely fulfilling from the offset. Sweet and big arrival. Sherry, dark fruits, rum soaked raisins and cherry. Caramelised plums. The vibrancy of the fruit is remarkable, very fresh and clear in flavour. The development gives more of the same, with a touch of oak savoury added in, and further tarty fruits intermingling, some bitter cherry, but still with Coke sweetness. Yeah, cherry Coke, but a nice one, I don’t usually like cherry Coke! The mouthfeel is coating everywhere. This does not feel like 53.1%, and is very drinkable at full strength, massive amounts of flavour and exciting with it. 


Long in length we have waves of cherry, raisin, sherry. Touches of menthol. A little coconut milk and vanilla. Drying out at the end with some oaky edges. 

Adding water. 

I think this will take water, but will go cautiously. The nose has fire! There’s a new spicy bite and added smoke with touches of floral. The palate is intense, a little creamier, more vanilla and popcorn elements, but the fruit is still going strong (not as strong as undiluted granted), and we have sweet peat notes during the development also. The finish is a little weakened, slightly drier, with more oak and has some creamy coconut grain. It has slightly more to offer with the addition of water, but there is something so very fulfilling about the undiluted. This is a whisky poured in 2 glasses, water added to one, and just experience the amazement of difference. 


What a fascinating and explorative blend. This is (not) a luxury whisky would be more apt. It is luxury, and it needs the luxury of time to fully appreciate the beautiful construction that has been put together. Once again Compass Box delivers the goods. 

Many thanks to Compass Box for the review sample

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