Announced together with Canvas, this Compass Box Orchard House is the most recent addition to the core range from the blending wizards. They say it’s their first blended malt composed almost entirely with spirit they once bought as new make and laid down in specific casks.
It brings together some of the fruitiest single malts. There’s 39% Linkwood, 29% Clynelish and 20% Benrinnes, all aged 8 years in first-fill bourbon barrels, plus minor parts of Aberlour (Oloroso seasoned butt), Caol Ila (first-fill bourbon) and their signature Highland Malt blend (custom French oak barrel).
Compass Box Orchard House (46%, OB 2021)
Nose: very bright and fruity indeed. Juicy pears and peaches, with hints of grapes, lemons and green apples. Also vanilla and mint, as well as light blossomy touches. Young but vibrant, with a subtle waxy side that hints at Clynelish. In terms of fruitiness this is spot on.
Mouth: still this light and fruity profile, not too sweet, albeit with a stronger boozy side. Hints of grappa and fruit eau-de-vie. Green apple, peach and pear again, with waxy notes, citrus peel, white pepper and light oak. Hints of ginger, raw malt and vanilla.
Finish: not too long, on soft spice, honey and orchard fruits.
Spirit-driven and not very complex, but it certainly fulfills its promise. I’m sure an Orchard House highball would make an excellent aperitif. To be revisited when the summer returns, especially since it’s priced very reasonably. Available from TyndrumWhisky or Master of Malt or The Whisky Exchange for instance (who have just resumed shipments to Germany and Denmark by the way).