Compass Box Whisky “How we made: Tobias & the Angel” – Scotch Whisky News




Tobias & the Angel 

A culmination of nearly two decades of work: an especially precious limited edition.

Here’s how we made Tobias & the Angel


For almost as long as Compass Box has existed, we have held a special reverence for single malt whiskies produced at the Clynelish and Caol Ila distilleries. Since our sadly-lost blend Eleuthera, we have known how wonderfully these two single malts complement each other. Therefore, when we were offered extremely old and special parcels of whiskies, one from each distillery, rather than allocate them to separate projects we were inspired to bring them together once more.

There is nothing else in Tobias & the Angel, just this magical pairing of single malt whiskies.



Every Compass Box release has a concept at its core, something that connects spirit, name and packaging design. While reading a biography of Leonardo da Vinci, John discovered the painting ‘Tobias and the Angel’, and the biblical story behind it. The naïve young man assisted by the divine angel expresses how we see the relationship between the aromatic smokiness of Caol Ila distillery and the ethereal character from Clynelish distillery.

2019 marks the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death; five centuries on, da Vinci’s blend of art and science is unparalleled. It is an inspiration for how we approach our whiskies.


The ‘Tobias and the Angel’ painting was produced at the studio of Andrea del Verrocchio, where the young Leonardo worked as an apprentice. To Leonardo are credited the small dog and the gleaming fish carried by Tobias. The beauty of the work, and its gravitas, made it a natural fit for this special limited release.

Fortunately for us, the painting resides at the National Gallery in London, not far from the Compass Box office and blending room. We requested and received permission from the Gallery to use the painting for our bottle’s artwork, paying a royalty for the privilege.

If you find yourself in London, we highly recommend a visit to see the painting in all its considerable glory.


Due to the age of the single malts which have gone into Tobias & the Angel, the likelihood that we’ll see two parcels of the same calibre come across our blending table again soon is sadly very low. We, therefore, believe that this is the rarest and most precious whisky we have ever produced.

Two decades of esteem, experimentation and experience have culminated in this limited edition of just 2,634 bottles worldwide.


Tobias & the Angel exhibits the aromas of distant bonfires, before leading into an ethereal herbal and fruit character. These two distinct and exquisite styles would not have been possible without the extended periods of maturation both whiskies have enjoyed.

The pedigree here is, in our opinion, of the highest calibre; the combination has exceeded even our expectations, creating something wholly original and of otherworldly quality.

Tobias & the Angel is best appreciated sipped at bottling strength. Like other works of great and lasting beauty, it is even better shared.


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