Review : Compass Box Orchard House

Blends might not always get their fair share of chest thumping or ogles but stumble across a Compass Box and it gets some of the most amourous and provocative looks. And why not, a distillery that is transparent like no other, with expressions that not only provides an experience but also good quality spirits that make it stand out.

My recent travel to the States got me acquainted with the Orchard Box, a lovely spring bathed bottling with bright colours boasting of fruity, floral flavours. This non aged statement is a blend of malt matured in a combination of wooden casks – first fill bourbon barrels, heavily toasted French oak and Olorroso sherry seasoned barrels. Malts that make this blend is a vatted fusion of spirits from Speyside distilleries like Linkwood, Benrinnes and Clynelish with a lower proportion from the Highland (Glen Moray, Tomatin) and Islay (Caol Ila) regions.

ABV : 46%

Eye : Amber | Non Chill Filtered, Natural Colouring

Nose : Vanilla, cantaloupe, green pears and sun dried tomatoes; fresh wood and pine with the softness of milk chocolate coupled with faint berry like nuances and white pepper.

Taste : Melons, pears and dried fruits mellow down to expose hints of vanilla , malty on the palate with a bit of charred wood and traces of cinnamon

Finish : Short | Cantaloupe and tropical with a balanced sweetness

I’m such a fan of the Compass Box line of expressions – their whiskies do a bang up job racking up a spectrum of flavours that do not fail to appetise the senses. The Orchard Box however was the exception;  lacking lustre with a one dimensional aura. The palate seemed more intriguing than the nose, but complexity and breadth was a miss on either. Meaning there’s not a lot to boast about with equally nothing much to complain.

A smooth, light to medium bodied whisky, this expression hosted a fair share of tropical flavours. The finish however was short and quite restrictive, a “meh!” at most. At around USD $65, it’s a bit over valued and in my opinion this comes across as a good candidate for a cocktail or a highball.



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