Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Malt Mission 2007 #12

Compass Box Flaming Heart
(Vatted) Malt Scotch Whisky
Limited Release #FH16 MMVI

48.9% abv

First thing to exlain is that John Glaser has created something he calls Oak Cross. This is a whisky he has recently released(a whisky somewhere between Bailie Nichol Jarvie and Glenmorangie Artisan Cask, both in price and taste), but it is also a cask he has created in which some of his whiskies spend the end of their maturation. Flaming Heart is such a whisky.

The Oak Cross casks are made with American white oak bodies and Sessile French oak heads. The idea is that Sessile oak yields specific flavours John wants in his whiskies. But also, it gives him the ability to toast the wood to a variant level and, as it wont be bent into a cask shape like the rest of the oak in the cask, he can char/toast the crap out of the stuff(if desired).

Flaming Heart is "a limited release, we are going to do it once, and we are not planning to do it again. At least not in the near future." (They did. See Malt Mission #192). Limited to 2100 bottles, this is the beginning of a whole new era for John Glaser and Compass Box. "The whole idea behind the Limited Release range for us is that we can use small quantity of casks that we can't use on a more commercial basis. Things we can't recreate...or don't want to recreate. The limited release range gives us a platform for releasing fun stuff" When you see John's "lab", you get an idea of just how much "fun stuff" is in store for us.

The name is taken from song by M. Ward (who will be playing in Toronto Jan 27). Malts in the mix include Caol Ila, Clynelish, and Linkwood.


Wafts of honeyed smoke, peat, and ham. Drying paint. Dry spice, like tumeric. A sweetness of dried plums, or prunes. Rich and engaging. Unusual combination of impressions from Scottish whisky. Blind, might guess Japanese.

Fireplace ash, mesquite. More dry spices, tumeric, smoked paprika, cinnamon. Creamy to swallow, peat smoke, sweet spices, pudding-like. Those flavours mixed with smoke are in great balance and uncommon in combination. Moreish.


Well, the stuff is only available in Europe, and that is the only negative I can find. Great (new) packaging, tasty and unusual stuff inside, and only further evidence that John is creating
easy drinking and well crafted whiskies that are more than the sum of their parts. Style AND substance. And as this one is only available in Europe, tomorrow we will try one that is only available in Ontario.

Malt Mission #11
Malt Mission #13

Malt Mission #14
Malt Mission #15

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