The Southside Whisky Club  

Compass Box - The Spice Tree | 46.0% | Blend
Fruity Chili heat Creamy Flavour Profile Search
Meet Deets
Meet #33   |   09/02/13   |   Hosted by Steph
For our mystery malts and mad names night, we headed to a Duddingston cottage to sample some intriguing whiskies by the fireplace..
Other bottles sampled:
#58 BenRiach Importanticus | SSWC review 33b
#59 As We Get It - Islay 8yo | SSWC review 33c
A fruity anagram starts of proceedings with both melon and lemon, then limes (but not slime), whilst less linguistic-savvy fruits pay their entrance fee: (mashed) bananas, blueberries and white grape juice sitting in the sun. Dates and sultanas ease the transition from fruit to fruity sweets as apple strudel, rhubarb & custards and fake apples join in the party. There's less glucose than fructose, maple bacon and the excitement of opening a can of boiled condensed milk the only entrants. There are a few garage items, from WD40 to to spray paint and spiders. A Granddad ghost, blood and damp tea towels seem to tie into the workman environment, whilst the poorly-lit imagery transcends to a pine blackwood of Rannoch. Finishing off, we get aromas of pot pourri, vanilla spice and musk. And it didn't fit anywhere else: toast.
If the nose was all fruit and garage, then the taste is after dinner fun. Orange-spiced dark chocolate, chili milk chocolate and 90% chocolate push the chocolate quote of this sentence to 3 (4 now). Liquorice, marshmallows and jelly oranges bring some childishness to the sweet class, whilst flambed Christmas pudding, boozy carrot cake, cinnamon swirls and vanilla ice cream and even some acidic cheese escalate the post-dinner madness with an unexpected pudding course. A tasty tipple is needed, and mulled wine without sugar and hot Cointreau offer the adults a zesty sip, whilst the children are having milk, and there's no discussion on this. Then there's a double-helping of chili oil offset with some of the fruitiness from the nose: apple, honeydew and forest fruits. Pine and Grand Fir sap move the fruit towards less common tongue-tinglers when charcoal, coloured chalks, burnt rubber and chemical perfume-licking turn up late.

  We voted this the best-designed whisky we've tried, but did the taste match?
Finish & Comments
General consensus of length was long, even a 108-yard Super Bowl touchdown, although short and medium had little peeps in the discussion. The tastes on the finish move this spicy sweetness towards a herby earthiness: cedar and sandalwood, basil oil and menthol. Angostura bitters, Piri Piri, chili, black pepper and red peppercorns in Ireland add some spicy zest, whilst apples, orange sherbet, (panda..?) liquorice and charcoal ally themselves with the taste.
~£39 (70cl)
Useful Links
Whisky Exchange: Compass Box Spice Tree   |
We've always scored out of 10 in our group (see number in red box, below), with scores regularly given across that spectrum. The value out of 100 below is adjusted to the scale most commonly used for whisky reviews, to allow for better comparison.

78 / 100

Average score

Detailed scores (out of 10)
Hamish: 6.8
Huw: Null
Iain: Null
Jamie: Null
Kate: Null
Liz: 6.3
Martin: 6.2
Peter: Null
Phil: 7.2
Russell: Null
Saskia: 6.2
Shelley: 7
Steph: Null
Tasting Game Points (out of 6)
Hamish: 2.5
Huw: 2
Iain: 3
Jamie: 2
Kate: 2.5
Liz: 2.5
Martin: 3
Peter: 4
Phil: 2.5
Russell: 3
Saskia: 3
Shelley: 3
Steph: N/A


[ for other thoughts on whisky and more in-depth activities of the group, check out whisky on meiotic ]