Compass Box debuts Experimental Grain Whisky

Independent bottler Compass Box has unveiled a new limited edition grain whisky that seeks to blur the boundaries of the Scotch category.

The Scotch producer has released Experimental Grain Whisky, which contains a portion of spirit made from 100% peated malted barley. Sourced from Loch Lomond Distillery, the liquid makes up one third of the recipe. According to Compass Box, the liquid might be 100% malt but because it is produced in a column still rather than a pot still, it must be defined as a grain whisky in line with Scotch regulations. The 46% ABV expression is also made with grain whiskies aged in re-charred barrels and hogsheads, which provide crème brûlée notes that complement the Loch Lomond liquid’s herbal and spicy smoke aroma. The bottling follows the theme of ‘contrast’ and is said to transport whisky drinkers to new territories. The design for the new whisky features artwork that draws on technical distillation textbooks, as well as drawings from Pablo Picasso. The use of sticky notes in the design expresses the product’s ‘work-in-progress’ nature, Compass Box said. James Saxon, lead whiskymaker, said: “Experimental Grain Whisky tastes like no limited edition we have made before, and we even flipped the front and back labels – creating a unique mid-century modern design for the bottle as well. “We set out to create the alter ego to Hedonism, our signature whisky and the world’s first vatted grain. The whisky we sourced from the Loch Lomond Distillery has been made from a mashbill of 100% peated malted barley; this component, in what is officially a grain whisky, feels like a spy travelling under a false passport. "We love this tension that so often exists between the rules and a modern willingness to do things differently, in pursuit of flavour.” Experimental Grain Whisky is available to buy from the Compass Box website for RRP £100 (US$136). It is limited to 6,142 bottles globally. In August last year, Compass Box released a fruit-forward malt whisky.