Friday, October 22, 2010

The Glaser Decade

Back in 2007, week three of this malt mission saw me taste 3 Compass Box whiskies in a row, followed by 12 more over the years as the mission has continued and I cannot think of one that was boring, tastless, uninteresting, or didn't have some substantial story to tell. For all Compass Box had on the mission, click HERE.

Last week, I was lucky enough to attend John's Tenth Anniversary "Tasting of the Decade" at the Astor Center in New York City. As expected it was great fun, inspiring, and delicious. Finspirlicious, even.

There were drams. Asyla, Hedonism v.2, Eleuthera, the original Monster, the original Spice Tree, Magic Cask, Canto 46, Optimism, Lady Luck, Flaming Heart, and Hedonism Maximus.

And there were stories. Highlight? Moments after bottling his first creation, Hedonism, pulling over in his car to open a bottle and weep with joy as he slugged back his work (a drinking technique I have witnessed back at
MM300... minus the tears). Classic
More from the tasting at Whisky Cast HERE.

John has created an expression of
Flaming Heart to commemorate the occassion and in Edinburgh last night, he held a similar event to the one I attended in New York.

John Glaser and the team at Compass Box have changed the direction of the whisky industry in ways that punch WAY above their weight.
-Ten years ago Sheep Dip was still in it's yellow and brown label and the industry showed no justification for a repack. Compass Box proved to Alex and Jane Nicol that well-made blended malts DID have a place on the palates of the marketplace... and to Jon, Mark and Robbo, and to Wemyss, and to Bruichladdich/Cooley (Celtic Nations), and to Glenmorangie/Ardbeg (Serendipity), and to William Grant (Monkey Shoulder), and to...
-While it may have been there already, all this "quality oak" talk John has been on about has pulled the importance of wood into every major brand's marketing, if not production, platform.
-Makers Mark "borrowed" John's (illegal?) technique of using inner staves in maturation for their Makers 46.
There are many more examples and it has truly been such an inspiring story to follow.

A glass is raised to you sir, from all corners of the whiskyverse.


For all Compass Box had on the mission, click