Inspired by a Renaissance painting by Verrocchio of a naïve boy led by a divine angel, Compass Box Tobias & The Angel paid some royalties to use it on the packaging.
Tobias & The Angel is a vatting of 24 year-old Clynelish and ‘considerably older’ Caol Ila, an almost 50-50 combination of distilleries that Compass Box used many times since they first used it in Eleuthera in 2002. It can be seen as a celebration of 20 years of whiskymaking.
Compass Box Tobias & The Angel (47,6%, OB 2019, refill bourbon hogsheads, 2634 btl.)
Nose: quite an ethereal, almost perfumed profile. Hessian, rosemary and thyme. Pine needles. Almonds, subtle smoke dried grass. Light vanilla. Waxy notes, with peaches and yellow apples in the background. Some acacia honey.
Mouth: the joys of old Caol Ila (late 1970s, early 1980s I’d say). Velvety smoke and creamy stewed fruits. Apricots, maybe a hint of mango. Then sweet spices (ginger, pepper), growing slightly austere with a light oaky / herbal bitterness. Waxy notes. Rubbed lemon peel.
Finish: long, on subtle peat, aromatic herbs and wood.
A minimal blend with brilliant ingredients rarely goes wrong and indeed this is pretty great. That said, I’m not sure it’s better as a vatting than it may have been separately and at around € 500 most people seemed to think it was overpriced.