Review : Glendronach 12 vs Compass Box The Story of the Spaniard

This month’s match up is another blind tasting, this one a sherry influenced face off – single vs vatted malt, champion vs underdog, aged vs NAS, the “tell some” vs the “tell all”. Yes, it’s the battle between the Sherry bombs – Glendronach’s 12 YO and Compass Box’s The Story of the Spaniard!

In an effort to distinguish between the two, we shall name our specimens after Gotham’s very own superhero duo – Batman and his trusty sidekick, Robin! Without further ado..

Eye : Deep Copper, both samples share the same shade with little to no apparent difference in colour. Possibly Robin being a minute shade darker; both samples have no caramel colouring added.

Nose :

Batman : Floral at first, infused with vanilla, grain and dark sultanas; the presence of cantaloupe is short and soon subdued by sherry and smoked wood. A pinch of white pepper along with menthol and some hay.

Robin : Caramel drizzled over vanilla cake, with smoked, charred wood, layered with honey, dark fruits, licorice, melons and a hint of green apples. Crushed green pepper with ginger peels are paired with some savoury nuances and some spice.

Batman, came in quite balanced, exposing a delicate and gentle side, with neither sweetness, nor sherry nor spice fighting for dominance. And though both spirits had their share of spice and sweetness, it was Robin who showcased a lot more layers on the nose, with a more delightful show of depth and richness.


B : Vanilla and berries, with cereal notes, accompanied by a lovely surge of spice that floats around the palate. Bit restrained and balanced giving off some wood, the richness of raisins with a sprinkle of pepper.

R : Smooth and velvety with deep caramel notes, butter, cream and raisins. Some cocoa, apples and a few tropical notes and interleaved with a host of dried fruits. Warm and oaky with a bit of freshness sandwiched in a lovely twirl of spice.

Batman began light with a bit of zest introducing himself with a lot more restraint; but with time, those layers began to peel off exposing good depth and richness. His trusty sidekick though was deep, rich and smoother. Very rustic and in a sense homely, that it somehow enveloped you in its world. Though the fight for the better palate was a bit more of a tussle, Robin wins round two as well.

Finish :

B : Deep sherried notes, giving off some warmth and spice | Medium

R : Lovely sherry and wood, spicy and nutty | Medium

This one came to a tie, good sweetness and the sherried influences rubbing off on both these specimens.

Now onto revealing the whose who….

Batman, was none other than Glendronach 12 YO, while Robin, perhaps the lesser known Compass Box The Story of the Spaniard!

ABV : GD: 43%; CBS : 43%

Cost : GD : AUD $90; CBS : AUD $80

Verdict : Armed with the same strength by volume and being relatively similar priced, Batman might be the hero of Gotham City but Robin clearly won this battle, hands down! There was a clear distinction both on the palate and the nose, with Compass Box’s Spaniard exemplifying depth, maturity and in a sense an experience which the GD12 couldn’t quite crawl upto.

I might have some haters here, and this is my personal opinion! I would appreciate it, if you could also give this a try and let me know your thoughts!



2 Comments Add yours

  1. Tobi says:

    Nice to see lotsa Compass Box love here. They’re such a good, fun company!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Donnie says:

    It certainly is a lovely expression and a great distillery too!


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