Independent Scotch whisky bottler Compass Box has released a limited edition blended malt, created by the winner of the brand’s bartender programme The Circle.The new expression, called The Circle, is named after Compass Box’s bartender programme. The initiative was formed last year “to connect the creative processes of the blending room with those of the bar trade”. Compass Box founder Jon Glaser said: “It is our way of bringing together like-minded creators who love to do things differently. "But this isn’t about industry experimentation behind closed doors. These expert bartenders are set a range of challenges to test their creativity." The winner of the programme, bartender Rosey Mitchell from London’s Three Sheets, was prized with the opportunity to create her own limited edition Compass Box whisky. The Circle is a blend of Scotch malt whiskies, including a base of single malt from Speyside’s Tamdhu Distillery, which was matured in ex-Bourbon barrels. The “fruity and creamy flavour profile” from Tamdhu is supported with malt whisky from Brora in the Highlands aged in refill Sherry butts, a lightly-peated single malt from Orkney, aged in recharred hogsheads, and a small proportion of a Highland malt blend finished in French oak casks. The final product has “apple, vanilla and malty notes” followed by a hint of smokiness on the finish. “I wanted to make an approachable whisky to be shared with friends,” said Mitchell. “I wanted something you could share in the daytime, something with brightness. “It could be served as a vibrant summery Highball in the garden – sunshine whisky. For me, I say enough of the ‘whisky in dark bars’ mentality.” Bottled at 46% abv, a total of 6,151 bottles of The Circle have been released worldwide with an RRP of £120/US$150. It is available in the UK and select international markets from June 2019, and in the US from July 2019.