Since launching Compass Box we have always tried to be as open with our customers as possible. However, late last year we were informed that the way we’ve been communicating the age of the components in our whiskies is illegal. By offering complete transparency around the age of every whisky we use, we have been breaking UK and EU Regulations governing the marketing and promotion of spirits.
It turns out that Scotch whisky is one of the few products where it is prohibited by law to be fully open and honest with consumers. We believe that Scotch whisky producers should have the freedom to offer their customers complete, unbiased and clear information on the age of every component used in their whiskies. That those customers have the right to know exactly what it is they’re drinking.
For these reasons, we’re launching a campaign today to change the current regulations – and we’re asking for your support. Please visit our website, read our proposed amends and – if you agree with our thinking – sign our Statement of Beliefs. Your support will help lobby UK and EU authorities to change the current regulations for the better.
Whiskymaker John Glaser
THE FIRST OF THE LAST GREAT MALTS
It’s been a six year labour of love for Stephen Marshall, Bacardi Global Whisky Marketing Manager, developing these new whiskies. Having recently sampled some of them a staff tasting session we can whole heartedly say that his efforts have not been in vain. They are great drams and we highly recommend them.
In the past Bacardi have under-utilised the product from their whisky distilleries, preferring to focus primarily on maintaining the world wide success of their Dewars and Lawsons blended Scotch whiskies. Now, however, you will be able to enjoy some fine single malts from not only Aberfeldy, but also Craigellachie, Aulltmore and in due course The Deveron (Macduff) and Royal Brackla. This is great news for whisky lovers and, contrary to current trends, all these new and beautifully packaged malts will carry an age statement. We can’t help but admire the refreshingly old fashioned approach of letting the whiskies speak for themselves at a variety of different age statements. It’s also quite wonderful to have the chance to try brand new single malts from distilleries that have a history of being highly rated by blenders, but are relatively unknown to single malt drinkers.
On Sunday the 9th November I was invited to Birmingham’s Hard To Find Whisky, the UK’s largest whisky specialist retailer, for a bloggers day.
The new shop is located in the Jewellery Quarter, one of the city’s most historic areas. The frontage exudes style and luxury with a modern glass door and marble steps leading in. The entrance area alone displays some seriously rare Johnnie Walker bottlings and a huge variety of rare Jack Daniel’s bottles.
Once inside, it’s hard not to be impressed. Over 22 units there are displayed 3,500 bottles, from entry level Grants’ blend to their jewel in the crown bottling, the Macallan 1928 50 Year Old, on sale at £35,000. It is clear from spending an afternoon in this shop that this really is a place for real whisky enthusiasts.
During the afternoon we were treated to some lovely food, masterclasses, a tour of the most rare and collectable bottles, and a competition where we had to guess the whisky we were drinking! It turned out to be a rather fantastic 17 Year Old Clynelish bottled by Gordon & MacPhail.
One thing that really sets Hard To Find Whisky apart from other whisky retailers is their huge range of masterclasses. So far they have 14 masterclasses on offer, but owner, Jason Kirby, is already planning to increase this number to offer more and more. During a masterclass in the afternoon I was poured five whiskies without them telling me what they were. The idea behind this is that the experts at the shop pick out flavours and build up your palate without any outside influence from the bottle design/label. I personally think this is a great way of tasting whisky as it challenges you to put aside any preconceptions of what you think you know about a certain bottle/distillery! It’s also perfect for beginners to whisky appreciation. The masterclasses range from £20 for the beginners class to £1000 for the ‘Whiskies Most Wanted’ class. Every single masterclass includes a rare bottle and the Japanese whisky masterclass includes the very much sought after Yamazaki Sherry Cask, which has recently been named the world’s best whisky by Jim Murray. Owner Jason Kirby clearly wants people to drink whisky as well as invest and collect. When he spoke about growing the number of masterclasses he said he wants to put on a masterclass where you get to taste all 14 Port Ellen official releases, the Black Bowmore and maybe even the Macallan 1928 50yo! There is nowhere in the UK where you can experience this level of tasting class at a whisky shop.
Overall I was incredibly impressed with the shop, the vast array of whiskies on offer and the attention to detail given to making it a whisky-lovers paradise. It’s a great addition to the whisky scene of the UK and anyone who loves drinking, collecting, buying or just talking about whisky should pay them a visit. I will definitely be back!
Dave Broom Reviews Scotch Malt Whisky Society G7.3 “Fresh Toffee and Glossy Magazines” – Scotch Whisky News
THIS is how to review a whisky. Dave Broom reviews Scotch Malt Whisky Society G7.3 “Fresh Toffee and Glossy Magazines”
…………blame the wretched servers.