We were first introduced to this whisky last year by Gregg Glass Assistant Whisky Maker at Compass Box last year while he was on a promotional tour with the company’s core range of whiskies. Even then, still very new to whisky, I was struck by its beautiful balance and depth. Since then it has collected many well deserved accolades, including ‘Best Blended Whisky of the Year 2012’ by Whisky Advocate magazine.
And so to the whisky… The colour is golden hay, very light. Compass Box insist on natural colouring – so no caramel here. Actually, when we visited Compass Box, Gregg showed us some caramel used in other whisky and it was horrid in smell and sight! On first nosing you pick up sweet vanilla, coming from the majority of its time spent in First Fill American Oak Barrels. There is also custard and fire toasted marshmallows. As it develops in the glass there was grass, hay and malt. There is also something metallic… now don’t think odd of me but with this nosing I flashback to a dinky Citroen 2CV toy with a metallic base that I used to play with as a child (and lick because the taste was so interesting!) I was only about 5 or 6 at the time, but that taste was so vividly coming through in the whisky! The palate is all vanilla sweetness, it’s creamy with a slight salty tang. Delicious. The finish is long and creamy with more vanilla, oak and just a whisper of salt.
This is a very good whisky, well balanced, nostalgic (for me!) and a great one to share. This is a whisky with personality that is versatile and can be enjoyed in many different ways. Gregg used GKS to make a Highball for us as a palate cleanser on our day with Compass Box, which was delicious! Learn how to make it here.
Great King Street is available directly from Compass Box at £25 for a 50cl bottling which doesn’t seem at all expensive for the quality of this dram. The Compass Box range has also just become available at The Whisky Shop nationwide.