Compass Box is famous for their innovative blends, and for their run-ins with the Scotch Whisky Association. When they released their Flaming Heart 15th Anniversary Edition, it once again led to some controversy. Check David Tjeder’s post on his blog for more information. It has led to Tomatin asking the SWA to lobby for more transparency.
Onto the liquid. Compass Box was kind enough to share the exact make-up of Flaming Heart:
27,1% is 30yo Caol Ila
24,1% is 20yo Clynelish
10,3% is 7yo Highland malt made up of whisky from Clynelish, Teaninich and Dailuiane
Nose: Vanilla, citrus and herbs with candle wax and salty oysters, covered in a layer of campfire smoke. Some black tea, varnish and polished leather. Probably about as well-integrated as can be. Taste: Wood smoke, salty seaweed and a thin layer of beeswax. More vanilla, but also baked banana. Has more of an edge to it than the nose. Smokier and spicier, but still very well-balanced. Caol Ila is certainly the most dominant spirit. Finish: Ashy, salty, a tad dry (nitpicking here), with red apple and wax.
Simply a very well-made whisky, although I would be curious to see what this would’ve been like with a higher percentage of Clynelish, because I find the Caol Ila pretty dominant. But that’s just me being a bit too critical maybe.