08 Jan 2009
Compass Box Canto Cask 36
Canto Cask was an experiment in which the same malt whisky was finished in different cask types (American & French oak) with varying toasting levels (each cask was flamed during a different period). The result is a series of 16 variations and each of those was sold by its own distributor.
The original whisky was a “triple malt”, a blend of just three single malts: Clynelish, Dailuaine and Teaninich, all 12 years old. After 18 additional months in the different casks, they were bottled at cask strength (52-55%). It’s interesting to see that only new oak was used, which is rather unusual for scotch whisky. The one I’m reviewing here was matured in an American oak cask, toasted to level 5 on a scale of 10.
Canto Cask 36 (54,3%, Compass Box for Bresser & Timmer, 2007, 257 btl.)
The nose starts on vanilla, apples and a bit of wax and varnish. Some spicy notes as well (nutmeg and cloves). Smooth oakiness. Mouth: really powerful, gets quite hot and toasty but stays elegant and sweet at the same time. Seems older than it actually is. The same spices return, oak and toffee as well. Warm finish with some bitter notes (cloves, walnuts, liquorice). The slightest hint of smoke. Score: 85/100.
I like this a lot, it’s complex yet accessible and I support the idea of experimenting, especially when we’re invited to evaluate the different results. I have a Canto Cask 15 (bought in Spain) as well, matured in French oak with a higher toasting level. I’m hoping to open it soon and do a head-to-head.