The Spice Tree

MY experience with blends is fairly limited, although I have tried some absolute belters in the last few months. So I thought it was about time I looked a bit deeper and one name that kept cropping up while I was doing a bit of research was The Compass Box - a specialist whisky maker based in London.
    I had heard about their run-in with the Scotch Whisky Association about the production of The Spice Tree a while back, but that's really all I knew. But discovering they had worked around the issue and intrigued by all the fuss, I decided to track down a bottle of the newer stuff and try it for myself.
    The presentation is fantastic, with the bottle encased in an eye-catching black box covered in swirling golden oak branches. Luckily, the liquid inside is just as impressive and as the bottle is now half full, I thought I would get some notes down about this fine whisky before it disappears.
    The Spice Tree is bottled at 46%, is non-chill filtered with no added colouring and is composed of a variety of Highland malts, including Clynelish, and is matured in bespoke casks made from both French and American oak.
    On the nose, there's pencil shavings, butter icing, dried banana slices, custard cream biscuits, stewed apple, milk chocolate, nutmeg, dates, a wee bit of soap and a hint of struck matches.
    On the palate, I found orange rind, milk chocolate, vanilla and cinnamon, while the finish is packed with more vanilla, dry wood, cloves, fresh ginger and a malty biscuit note.
    The Spice Tree is an intense and delicious dram and would make an excellent sipper over the festive season. Look out for it on your travels.


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