Compass Box and Drinkmonger

Drinkmonger

Ok, some news: I am a drinkmongerer (this is a good thing). I now work part-time for Drinkmonger, the wine arm of Royal Mile Whiskies. Currently, there are 2 Drinkmonger’s in Scotland. One in Edinburgh and one in Pitlochry. They both have an excellent Wine selection, beer selection and an interesting Whisky selection (as you can imagine, being part of RMW).

drinkmonger

We have only been open just over a month. The selection and range is ever expanding and we are starting to do tastings, which is exciting!

Next Thursday (December 1st), we will be opening some superb whiskies to taste for anyone passing by. Just pop in, say hello and have a dram. No catch, except you may have to chat to me for 5 mins. Here are the whiskies we will be opening:

Kilchoman 2006 OB
Longrow Burgundy OB
Blair Athol 12 F n F – now £29.95 to buy (bargain!)

Pop in and say hello at:
11 Bruntsfield Place
Edinburgh
EH10 4HN
Tel: 0131 229 2205.

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Compass Box Last Vatted Malt & Last Vatted Grain

Compass Box were our first tasting as a new shop. They brought along many different bottlings including Orangerie, Spice Tree and Peat Monster. I was having a wee dram of Orangerie (perfect for a cold night) when Chris Maybin of Compass Box happened to mention he had some little exclusives for us to try….

Last Vatted, eh?

Yup, last vatted stuff. The reasoning behind the name is Compass Box are being at their rebellious best. Basically, on Wednesday, it became illegal under SWA rules to call something a vatted malt. I think that’s ridiculous, especially when the alternative in place is Blended Malt. It’s a bizarre state of affairs, since what you do when creating a “blended malt” is vat malts together. So by stating honestly what you do to your whisky, you are breaking the law. Why can’t laws be made against things that damage Scotch Whiskies integrity, like caramel colouring? The annoying thing is; by bringing the term blended into anything, you bring blends into peoples minds, and that confuses things. If you want to read a good old school Tim Forbes rant about it, check out Tim Forbes Rant at the Whisky Exchange Blog (they helped create and bottle these Compass Box Whiskies)

last-vatted-malt

Last Vatted Malt
1323 bottles 53.7%
£174.95 from here
A vatting of 35 year old Speyside and 26 year old Islay whisky
.

Nose: Honey BBQ smoke. Creamy Apples and Pears, limes and spice. Kind of like a glazed honey ham. Mmmm glazed honey ham.

Palate: Burnt Toast, honey, vanilla, maltiness and a dry smoke.

Overall: Yup, it’s nice. Tasty and with many levels. It’s not a huge hittter, but I enjoyed it.

Last Vatted Grain
297 bottles 46%
£124.95 from here
A combination of grain whiskies from Invergordon, Carsebridge, Port Dundas and Cameron Bridge.

Nose: Grassy, grapey. Weirdly smokey and biscuity

Palate: Right up my street. Grapefruit, purple fruit pastels. It’s the type of whisky I like. Ribena style.

Overall: It’s got that Aged Grain Whisky lovliness that is similar to the beautiful flavours you get from irish whisky giants Jameson 18 & Redbreast 12.

What do I think? Well, if you have the money, I would say buy them, buy them now. They are both  tasty and collectable. But…. I still enjoy Illegal Spice tree and Hedonism the most. In my humble opinion, those are very hard acts to follow.

Chris Hoban

Comments

  1. Hi Chris,

    Congrats on your new position and hope you have a great time. There’s nothing better than working in a good wine & whisky shop.

    Also thanks for the link to my bletherings on TWE Blog. Would just like to point out though, in the interests of full accuracy, that while the Last Vatted Malt is a joint bottling between Compass Box & TWE, we can’t take any credit for the Last Vatted Grain – that’s solely John’s baby.

    All the best,

    Tim

  2. Thanks for the clarification Tim and thanks for your congratulations. I’m really enjoying working in the shop. Learning more about wine is really interesting.

    We just got the last vatteds in the other day. I wonder how long they will stay on the shelf!

    All the best mate. I’ll give you a shout next time I’m in London,

    Cheers,

    Chris

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