Magic Cask – a special edition Scotch Whisky blended with scientific skill, creativity and sense of adventure.

Compass Box has launched a new Limited Edition Scotch Whisky, slowly crafted from two Speyside malt whiskies, smoothly blended into a special magical potion – which brings to mind the witches brew in Macbeth.

‘In the cauldron boil and bake;   
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,   
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,   
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,   
Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing,   
For a charm of powerful trouble, 
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble’.   

John Glaser, Scotch whiskymaker, inventer and maverick with the magic touch

    Sometimes just one cask in a blend can provide the touch of magic that allows the whole arrangement to sing.” 

John Glaser, Founder, Compass Box Scotch Whiskymaker

In 2000, John Glaser believed there were too many companies making and selling Scotch whisky the same traditional way. As an American living in the UK and working for a large distiller, he wanted to be more creative and contemporary for the 21st century dram drinker.

So, Glaser as a maverick inventor, set up The Compass Box, an innovative, modern Scotch whisky company originally based in his own home, like many business entrepreneurs. Today, he has around sixteen employees at the office and Blending Room in London, with a stock of maturing whisky stored in Scotland.

The Compass Box Blending Room

When it comes to whisky and its enjoyment, we keep our minds open to new production processes and combinations of flavours. We believe that by bringing together Single Malt and Single Grain whiskies of the highest quality it is possible to create textures, flavours and pleasures that no solitary whisky can attain.

‘Whiskymaker’ is a word invented by Compass Box – someone who has a passion to create, to challenge, to experiment. A Whiskymaker is different from a distiller and more than a blender.

As Whiskymakers, (John Glaser, James Saxon and the team), they explore the chemical and culinary connnections between Scotch whisky and the maturing process in oak casks over the course of time. The oak wood is specifically sourced from the Vosges forest of France and the woods of Missouri.  To ensure premium quality, careful sampling of each cask will ensure the perfectly crafted and unique blend. 

A blended Scotch whisky – a fine selection of whiskies from different distilleries – can produce a spirit of such rich and complex character, that it can compete with the renowned purity of a single malt.

Magic Cask is a blended malt Scotch comprised of just two Speyside single malt whiskies. No Shakespearian newts, frogs or lizards here in this fine concoction.! The first is a lost and forgotten whisky from the Imperial Distillery, (founded 1897 but closed in 1998), drawn from first-fill bourbon barrels, matured for about 23 years.

The second whisky is a young 4 – 5 year old undisclosed Speyside spirit from a distillery near Aberlour, which had been transferred into Oloroso-seasoned butt casks to mature. After three years, a sampling from Cask # 2 was most distinctive and after further experimentation, the result was the creation of the Magic Cask.

Bottled in 2020 at 46% ABV.  92% First Fill Bourbon cask whisky,  8% Oloroso Sherry cask whisky  No added colouring and without chill-filtration. A limited edition of 5,538 bottles.

This colourfully artistic label was decoratively and imaginatively designed by Guy Pratt of ‘Stranger and Stranger’, a design company whose tag line is Don’t Fit In, Stand Out.  Whisky Magazine Icons of Whisky 2020 Award for Design Agency of the Year. 

This Magic Cask bottle – with its roaring tiger jumping through a hoop of fire, a flutter of doves, rabbits and playing cards from a Magician’s box just screams, ‘look at me, pick me up’ and certainly stands out from the crowd.

What the Whiskymakers say about Magic Cask

“Aromas of marmalade and chai tea spices with hints of plum. Ripe, golden dessert apples dominate the palate, with an oaky richness. Flavours of toffee and cocoa powder are also conjured up.  Savour this whisky neat, perhaps as a digestif after dinner with its medley of autumn fruits and chocolate.”

 The Dram Test

Nose: Strong floral and herbal fragrance and tart apple and woodland berries.  

Taste: Caramel, vanilla, sherry, nutmeg, cinnamon, smoky oak wood

Finish: Citrus fruits, dark Belgian chocolate and lingering spice and smokiness.

From the first pungent punch of the aroma, it mellows on the palate to release richly flavoured layers of spicy, sherried fruit cake with underlying caramel sweetness. This is indeed a dynamic dram to sip with care and consideration and sings loud and clear in perfect harmony.

What other whisky lovers say:

“Fruity and floral, enticing sweet citrus notes of orange. A little sweet vanilla, toffee and a hint of honey and dark chocolate.  Oak spice, a little raisin, sultana and coconut ice.”

“A deliciously longish finish – vanilla, orange and sultana fade first to leave a touch of coffee and some gentle sweet, mature oak and mild spice.”

 “Very fruity and grassy, with plenty of sweetness in an oily and rich texture. Spicy and savoury flavours that hint at the first-fill sherry butts. Pastel de Nata, (Portuguese Custard Tart), lemon meringue, cinnamon sticks, spiced orange. “

John Glaser amidst a warehouse of Whisky casks

Scotch whisky is one of the world’s great drinks. We’re here to help ensure it continues to evolve and surprise today’s discerning spirits enthusiasts.  John Glaser

Compass Box is leading the way in experimentation in the brave new world of Scotch through their own distinctive blend of science, creativity, alchemy and passion to produce exciting, magical drams.  

Slainte Mhath!

Take your own adventure in deliciousness!

Magic Cask from Compass Box Scotch Whiskymaker

A limited edition release of 5,538 bottles with a RRP of £145 for the 70cl bottle.

Available on line from The Compass Box Shop with links for buyers in UK, Worldwide and United States.

Also from specialist Whisky retailers

Find out more about Compass Box whiskies here:

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About vivdevlin

I am an international travel writer, specialising in luxury travel, hotels, restaurants, city guides, cruises, islands, train and literary-inspired journeys. I review dance and theatre, Arts Festivals and love the visual arts. I have just experienced an epic voyage, circumnavigating the globe, following in the wake of Captain Cook, Mark Twain and Robert Louis Stevenson.

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