Saturday, May 28, 2011

Compass Box Orangerie

Compass Box Orangerie
Blended, infused Scotch whisky
40% alc/vol

I heart Compass Box. They make such neat drinks. Orangerie is exactly what it says on the tin. In fact, the tin goes into further detail: "Orangerie is a whisky infusion made of smooth, sweet Scotch whisky infused with the hand-peeled zest of Navalino oranges and subtle accents of Indonesian cassia bark and Sri Lankan cloves."

It comes as no surprise, then, what this eccentric little experiment of a dram tastes like. The orange hits me like a punch in the mouth, at first...but then I realize that it's actually pretty subtle, and that this John Glaser fellow hasn't ruined the perfectly lovely whiskey at all. It's still scotch, sweet and a bit spicy. Cinnamon? Check. Clove? Check. Like I said, it's right there on the tin.

Orangerie is warming, and leaves with a nice finish - a pleasant after-image of malty, orangey goodness. I suspect the orange makes it more accessible to those who aren't so enamored with whiskey, but I'm not sure how much so. I wouldn't even quite call it a "liqueur," though a cursory Google search reveals that others disagree. It really is just an "infusion"; it's not a cocktail, drowning that bad nasty not-at-all-neutral spirit with sugar and bubbles and fruit juice. And we're all the better for it.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Bruichladdich "PEAT"

So, I've been doing pretty great at this blogging thing, huh? Let's get this show on the road!

Bruichladdich "PEAT"
Single Islay malt Scotch whisky
46% alc/vol

Pronounced brook-lad-dee, according to Wikipedia. New and interesting things. This guy doesn't have an age statement, which, as we know, means it's likely got some young whiskeys in it, which could explain some of the harshness I detect.

A bit harsh and alcoholic, even with a splash of water. Dry and, yes, peaty, but a little...grassy, too? The finish leaves much to be desired, dry and a bit bitter. It's good when a sip of scotch makes you want more, but not when it makes you want more of something else.

Ultimately, it's a nice effort, but I can think of a half-dozen peaty scotches I'd rather drink*. Which is a shame, since given this bottle's name, I'd hoped for something of a peat nirvana.

* Ardbeg 10, Laphroaig 10, Laphroaig Quarter Cask, Bowmore 12, Lagavulin 16, Black Bottle, Johnnie Walker Black Label...make that a baker's half-dozen.