Compass Box revives extinct blends

by Georgie Collins

Scotch whisky producer Compass Box has unveiled Metropolis, the latest expression in its Extinct Blends Quartet series.

Metropolis is the third of four bottlings to be added to the collection, which pays homage to blends that have been ‘lost to history’, and takes inspiration from the ‘vanished characters and flavours’ of extinct distilleries. “Whilst extinct distilleries can be revived – mash tuns refilled and stills heated up again, blends of the past cannot be recreated at scale. These formulae encapsulate specific moments in time – the result of relationships, ideas and people,” explained the brand. “With each whisky in this series, Compass Box takes inspiration from these vanished characters and flavours, reappraising four very different expressions of blended Scotch, using some of their most precious parcels of whisky.” As such, the limited edition Metropolis release is a celebration of ‘bustling cities of the past and present’, and takes inspiration from a recently extinct blended Scotch ‘with a long history’. It is described as charming, refined, and alive with energy, and aims to reflect the excitement and richness of life in city spaces. James Saxon, lead whisky maker at Compass Box, said: “For us, Metropolis represents all the people, places, and moments that blend together, making city life so vibrant. We really wanted to capture the soul of blended Scotch that continues to reside in the city today.” The liquid’s time spent in Sherry casks has provided a dried fruit richness layered over a creamy and zesty grain whisky. It also boasts subtle scents of hot metal and smoke from the shipyards, courtesy of ‘a very old malt whisky’. Metropolis joins Ultramarine and Delos in the Extinct Blends Quartet. The first release, Ultramarine, was made using mature malts from the Caol Ila and Glendullan distilleries; aged grains from the Cameronbridge and Girvan distilleries; as well as a medley of pre-blended stocks. Meanwhile, older stocks were turned to for the creation of Delos, the second blend in the collection, with malt whiskies from the Glen Elgin, Imperial and Miltonduff distilleries – all drawn from American oak barrels – used in the blend. The 49% ABV Metropolis will be available to purchase from 20 September via, for an RRP £260 (US$327).

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