For the 30th anniversary of Bresser & Timmer in Holland, Compass Box created a limited edition bottling.
Compass Box Ad Vitam (which translates as Friends for Life) consists of malt and grain whiskies distilled in years significant to the history of the company. It matured in ex-bourbon and recharred barrels, Oloroso sherry-seasoned butts and custom French oak casks.
Compass Box Amici Ad Vitam (48%, OB for Bresser & Timmer 2023, 630 btl.)
Nose: a rich nose with a creamy base, vanilla and bits of charred cake. Hints of ashes (Caol Ila style) appear, as well as mint, fatty minerals and some vague orchard fruits in the background. Dried herbs, some wood shavings and a light meaty touch as well.
Mouth: dry and fairly oily, with a waxy note but also a certain sharpness and light coppery note in the middle. Herbs like rosemary, ginger and angelica grow stronger and make it slightly austere. Herbal tea, salted nuts and roasted coffee beans. Mineral smoke and hints of bitters. Some alcohol too: you can easily feel the grain whisky now.
Finish: medium length, clean but again slightly austere. Smoke until the very end.
Overall this was more austere and grain-driven than I expected from Compass Box. A decent blend, sure. But in the wider series of anniversary bottlings it falls a bit behind. Still a few bottles left at Dutch retailers, see Whiskysite.nl for instance.