Compass Box will always come up with original ideas. As of November 23rd 2011, SWA made it illegal to use the term ‘vatted malt’ which had to be replaced with ‘blended malt’. To mark the occasion, or to mock it, John Glaser created this limited edition bottling, a marriage of two single malts:
- 78% Caol Ila 1984 (bourbon hogsheads)
- 22% Glenallachie 1974 (first fill sherry)
Compass Box ‘Last vatted malt’ (53,7, Compass Box 2011, 1323 btl.)
Nose: rich and sweet, with brown sugar and beautiful notes of jams and fresh tropical fruits (melon, mango). Behind it is a soft smoky layer, not a dominating kind of peatiness but more like a tobacco / sweet mossy element. Some caramelized apple and roasted almonds. Very subtle coal and tar in the background, but it’s creamy and vanilla’d at the same time. A very successful marriage.
Mouth: more Coal Ila now than on the nose, with a leathery, slightly sourish tobacco note up front, as well as some wood spice. Soft peat. Islay is now the stronger part, the fruity sweetness is much more in the background now. Fruit tea rather than sweet fruits. A little wax. Oranges and cloves, a little bitter coffee in the end.
Finish: long, dry, again plenty of tobacco.
The last vatted malt has an exceptional nose, where 1+1 is definitely more than 2. On the palate though, 1+1 is still mostly Coal Ila, if you know what I mean. Well done, even with the heavy price tag of around € 190.