Compass Box today announces the release of The Story of The Spaniard, a new malt whisky with its core components aged in Spanish wine casks. The first whisky in nearly five years to be added to the existing permanent range, it brings a new style to the Compass Box portfolio and enhances the broad spectrum of flavours already represented in their range of Scotch whiskies.
Founder & Whiskymaker John Glaser remarks:
“Whiskies aged in ex-Spanish Sherry casks are a favourite for many drinkers, and so we are excited to share our take on this much-loved style of Scotch whisky. The addition of whiskies matured in Spanish red wine casks as well as those finished in new French oak add depth and complexity, resulting in a character we believe is distinctive.”
The new recipe was inspired by a bespoke whisky made for a bar in Greenwich Village, New York, called the Spaniard. The owners wanted something containing whiskies aged in Sherry casks, and most single malt whiskies in the final blend were aged in former Oloroso Sherry casks. The Compass Box team like it so much they decided to bring this style of whisky to their range on a regular basis.
The name is a nod to Glaser’s chance encounter with a gentleman in the South of Spain, detailed on the back label of the bottle:
“A long time ago, a friend and I journeyed through the South of Spain, avoiding the tourist spots and visiting every little village bar we could. We called these little bars wine closets. They were tiny, filled with the heavy smoke of Ducados Negros, serving beers and liquors I had never heard of.
In one place, an elderly man took it upon himself to teach us about the local Sherry wines. They captured my imagination with their nutty, saline character and tremendous spectrum of style. Years later, when I discovered Scotch whisky, I was reacquainted with Sherry through whiskies aged in former Sherry casks, which are known for the rich, deep flavours they provide. I’ve been drawn to this style of whisky ever since.”
In this first release, bottled at 43% ABV in June 2018, 48% of the whiskies have been aged entirely in ex-Sherry casks with an additional 25% of the whiskies aged in Spanish red wine casks. For future batches, the type of casks may vary from year to year based on availability and experimentation, but Spanish casks - either Sherry wine casks or Sherry-style wine casks - will always play the key role.
The Story of The Spaniard launches first in Europe where it is now available in select specialty retailers at £50 SRP and in the US from September 2018 at $65 SRP. Full details of the release, including recipe information, are available at: www.compassboxwhisky.com/thestoryofthespaniard