Compass Box Phenomenology

Forget NAS, the new thing is NIS (no info statement). With their latest limited edition Phenomenology Compass Box are doing the exact opposite of what they have been fighting for:  not giving any information at all, not even tasting notes. Encouraging people to experience this whisky without preconceptions is a good thing, but I’m not sure this concept is all that different from other blend(ed malt)s on the market?

Apparently it is made with 5 components, one of which accounts for 72% of the total liquid. Another one brings in 24.5% so it’s basically a recipe that revolves around one or two ingredients.



Compass Box PhenomenologyCompass Box Phenomenology
(46%, OB 2017, 7908 btl.)

Nose: clearly reminiscent of the mid 90’s Clynelish profile. Fresh melons, red apples, peaches and some lemon / lime. Malty notes. Warm vanilla cake with icing. Subtle wax and damp oak. Just a hint of marshmallow / marzipan. Nicely warm and fruity, simply very good.

Mouth: quite rich and creamy, in the same style. Sweets fruits (peaches, apples), balanced by zesty notes (lemon, grapefruit) and a touch of aniseed. Maybe a hint of pineapple. The same waxiness – again there’s clearly Clynelish in here. Fades on red apple peelings with a faint grassy / salty edge.

Finish: long, with some drying grassy notes and

It’s really good – I like this style and whatever the other components may be, they support each other. On the other hand I feel it’s not much of a ‘creation’ this time: you can get similar and equally impressive Clynelish for much less, sometimes half the price. What’s the point in buying it as a blended malt? Available from Master of Malt and The Whisky Exchange among others.

Score: 88/100