Compass Peat Monster 10 Year
Until not too long ago, the word 'blend' was anathema to Scotch aficionados. Despite the fact that the lion's share of whisky sales have historically been blends, the whisky cognoscenti viewed them as a cheap substitute for single malts, only suitable for the odd whisky soda. However, the landscape has shifted in the past decade—largely due to the efforts of one man, John Glaser of Compass Box.
Bottled at 97.8 proof, it's a strong whisky that is still perfectly enjoyable at bottle strength. The aroma is intensely peaty with a strong smoke framework, but a hint of malty fruit and apple lends balance. I could bury my nose in this whisky for longer than I care to admit. The flavor doesn't disappoint, leading with seaside brine, burnt rubber (the good kind), and peat, but it's remarkably lush and round. Don't get me wrong, it is a monster, but it's a very easygoing monster, somehow managing a full peaty complexity and character without the rough edges that typically accompany peat. Compass Box's trademark balance is on full display. The finish is long and enveloping, wrapping you up in a blanket of peat fire and spices.