Compass Box Canvas is a limited edition blended malt which revolves around a parcel of Tomatin whisky which was re-racked into a Vino Naranja casks for three years. This peculiar type of fortified wine originated in the Huelva region (near Jerez but closer to Portugal). It is literally an orange wine: usually a light Pedro Ximénez base to which orange peels are added for maceration, aged in a solera system.
More than half of the recipe is Tomatin (the Vino Naranja making up nearly 11%) and the other single malt whiskies came from Glenburgie, Glen Elgin and Imperial distilleries. They were all aged in American oak to highlight their fruitiness. Further details can be found in the fact sheet.
Compass Box Canvas (46%, OB 2021, 5880 btl.)
Nose: honeyed, with tinned pineapple and ripe pear, as well as candied orange slices. It’s not exactly Orangerie, but the oranges do manage to leave their mark. Very subtle hints of Triple Sec. Also light peppery notes, lemon sherbet and vanilla custard, with a whiff of freshly sawn oak on top.
Mouth: firmer now, with a slightly greener character and more wood spice. Generous amounts of vanilla custard again. Peaches, hints of bananas and grapes. Then white pepper and nutmeg releasing some heat, with hints of marmalade in the background. A bit of toffee and gingerbread as well. Increasing oaky notes towards the end.
Finish: medium, now with a drier bourbonny character. Orange peel and sweet wood spices.
It’s a fruity whisky, nice enough in itself, but I can’t help feeling they could have done more with the Vino Naranja influence. Too close to regular Tomatin I’d say, lacking some of their added value as whisky creators. Available from The Whisky Exchange and Master of Malt among others.