Whisky Review – Spice Tree Extravaganza (Compass Box) @CompassBox

Spice Tree Extravaganza (Compass Box)

46% ABV

Non chill filtered

No Added Colouring

12,240 bottles

£91.95 from Master of Malt

Compass Box’s Spice Tree whisky (the first batch) was deemed untraditional by the SWA and as such was banned at that time, this was due to (what I believe) using inner staves to impart extra flavour into the maturing whisky. On the tenth anniversary of this ruling we now have a new limited release, Spice Tree Extravaganza. I never did get to try the original Spice Tree but have heard many a great thing. Let’s see what this limited anniversary release has to offer. 

Compass box are offering a level of transparency that most whisky produces would rather stay silent about, the ages of the whiskies in any of their blends. I know the ages of the individual parts of this whisky, but it would be unfair of me to tell you as it may get Compass Box in deeper water with the powers that be, so please let me encourage you to go speak to them! Email hello@compassboxwhisky.com and just ask them! 

Nose. 

First pour and we have a blast of apples and powdery, floating Spice. It’s sweet shop sugar in the air, breathtaking, sweet and enticing. Within a minute everything is very complex. Lots of pungent fruit and spices. The fruits are getting boiled now, poached pear, fruitcake mix, Turkish delight, clove, lemon essence, orange oil. A little more time and we’re back in the sweet shop, lots of fruity boiled travel sweets with powdered sugar. Very very fruity and incredibly sniffable. 

Palate. 

Slow sweet and sour arrival, quite tangy initially, but soon settles. The development has an abundance of sweet jammy fruits with some bitter peel edges. Sweet Apple, pear, orange, bitter lemon and lime. There’s a tingle of clove and ginger (both hints of raw and crystallised). The mouthfeel has some thickness and a touch of oiliness. Very chewy throughout. The development goes further with some Christmas Spice infused fruit cake, glazed red berries and a touch of cranberry jam(!). 

Finish. 

Spicy stewed fruits (sultana and orange rind) remain, crystallised ginger, some sugar almond and a touch of cherry Coke.

Adding water. 

A few drops in a small amount of whisky (it’s too drinkable at 46%!). Refreshers! The fizzy sweet, that’s exactly what the nose reminds me of now, still lots of sweet shop goodies, a little more floral and light, with a touch of added oak. The palate is similar, the fruits are watered down, more of a fruit salad now, integrated, with a touch of effervescence. The mouthfeel is weakened, and there’s a little sweet vanilla oak added in, very nice but lacking in intensity of the undiluted. I prefer this dram without water.

Conclusion. 

A delicious seasonal whisky, which is well suited to our autumn climate right now. The spicy fruits just get you warmed up for the winter holiday season, and is absolutely bloody lovely and easy to sip on. Thumbs up! To the top of the Christmas list.

Many thanks to Compass Box for the review sample

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