MikeK wrote:I got to try one of his new offerings, "Oak Cross". It was very good. Hey Gary, (Gillman) I asked John if he had seen you lately, he mentioned a dinner event of some sort. You 2 must have quite a time comparing vatting notes!
I like 'my' liquor store cause when I go in they love to tell me about what is new and might be of interest to me. I hate 'my' liquor store cause when they see me coming they know I am a sucker for a new taste and know they can get me to try something.
Well, I had a sip of Compass Box Oak Cross and was quite taken with it. So I cough up about $48 and think if I like it as much as I think I will, I will be able to scratch out a little piece on BE about it.
Howsomever, you have to get up soon, soon in the A.M. to steal a march on the likes of Mike Kellstrand and Gary Gillman. I vaguely remembered Compass Box and thought it had a favorable post or two here on BE. On that basis and the sip of Oak Cross, I was a goner...........and so was my $48. Alas, as I should have known, Kellstrand and Gillman were there afore me..........but, what good company I am in!
This a vatting of Highland Single Malts done in 'first fill' and 'refill' American oak and a secondary maturation in French and American oak. It is 86 proof and unlike any other 'Scotch' with which I am familiar.
Nose: A soft nose, with definite vanilla, malt, and light smokey elements which are almost delicate and quite seducitve and sensuous. There are peat and heather aromas that, with their organic hints, make you think you are outside in Scotland on a late spring day.
Taste: A soft taste with vanilla/malty sweetness which quickly becomes spicy (cloves, it says on the label, and, I agree), but not peppery. A very good balance is achieved and the thick richness is never lost to the alcohol.
Finish: A moderate to long finish with a slight burn that never overwhelms the rich malty vanilla flavors.
Comments: In my humble opinion, you can never go wrong if you combine malt and vanilla flavors in good proportion. They both seem to be universal flavor touchpoints to most human persons.
Compass Box Oak Cross is a great example of how to balance these irresistable flavors in an alcoholic spirit that also harkens to that elemental human love of fire and of smoke.
I believe that John Glaser reached deep into the human psyche to fashion a spirit that is very pleasing aromatically and gustatorialy. It is not a call to do, it is a call to be. It comes after all the doing is done, it is the reward for a doing well done.
Maybe it is my poverty of imagination, but I cannot imagine a full human life without our great spirits and the enjoyment, comfort, and comaraderie they offer. Many of my most memorable moments were spent with friends in deep communion over such spirits. A loosening of tongues, a spontaneity of soul, a forging of ties (a risk of abusing all that, but we will speak of that another time) are indelible memories.
Man does not live by bread alone. He can achieve, can learn, can celebrate, can enjoy, can experience, can love, can hate, can dance, can sing, can cry (oh, yes), can lie, can live, and can die (with dignity and willingness in the best of cases). That he can do so without benefit of spirits is beyond doubt...........but why?