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Compass Box ETHEREAL Conquête 49% ABV bottled for La Maison du Whisky 65th Anniversary

What You Need To Know:
  • La Maison du Whisky, one of the world’s most renowned bottler and distributor of fine spirits, celebrates its 65th anniversary, seemingly keeping with the theme “Conquête”, or “Conquest”.
  • First came the Chichibu Paris Edition 2021 “Conquête”, now to be joined by Compass Box’s Ethereal Conquête, which was bottled to celebrate the event.
  • The “Ethereal” bottling is a tip of the hat to Compass Box’s first blended malt bottled “Eleuthera” which you can find a little easter egg of on the gorgeous label of constellations spelling out the bottle’s name.
  • It is said to have “a very fine aroma and flavour, with delicate peat, and a herbal and spicy character”. It is a blend of 43.3% Highland single malt, 17.4% Speyside single malt and 39.3% split between two Islay single malts, all of which ranging from 17 to 26 years old. It was matured in refilled American Oak barrels and recharred and refilled American Oak hogshead casks, filled at 49% ABV with a total outturn of 2,430 bottles.
  • Official tasting notes below! This bottle will soon be for sale on LMDW’s website.
  • We’re mostly been a fan of Compass Box despite their prices generally taking an uptrend but so have whiskies in broad, so while this won’t come cheap, we think it’s worth it.
  • Cop the Drop of Not Verdict: Cop

 

(Image Source: LMDW)  

As La Maison du Whisky, one of the world’s most renowned bottler and distributor of fine spirits, celebrates its 65th anniversary, it seems the theme for the celebration is “Conquête”, which is to say “Conquest” when translated from French. They’ve certainly gone some ways in embodying that in the world of spirits.

Off the back of their recent Chichibu Paris Edition 2021, which was titled “Conquête”, we have another bottling to join it – Compass Box’s Ethereal Conquête.

 

John Glaser, chief at indie bottler, Compass Box. (Image Source: The Daily Beast)

This bottling was created by James Saxton and John Glaser of Compass Box to celebrate the occasion. Ethereal is in reference to Compass Box’s first blended malt bottling, “Eleuthera” and draws on its blending formula.

What’s nifty is that if you look at the label which depicts a set of constellations of alphabets forming the eight-lettered name “ E-T-H-E-R-E-A-L”, you’ll notice a little easter egg of a letter “U” in the middle of the star pattern that is not linked with the other letters – a nod to the original nine-lettered “E-L-E-U-T-H-E-R-A”. Glaser is said to have hoped that on this momentous occasion, fans “will use Ethereal to find memories of the beginning of Compass Box’s founding”. 

Read more about how Johnnie Walker’s marketing director broke free and came to start independent bottler Compass Box here.

 

Ethereal is a nod to Compass Box's first bottling, Eleuthera. (Image Source: @housewelley on Instagram)

The bottle is said to spot a very fine aroma and flavour, with delicate peat, and a herbal and spicy character. It is a blend of 43.3% Highland single malt, 17.4% Speyside single malt and 39.3% split between two Islay single malts, all of which ranging from 17 to 26 years old. It was matured in refilled American Oak barrels and recharred and refilled American Oak hogshead casks, filled at 49% ABV with a total outturn of 2,430 bottles.

 

Official Tasting Note

Nose

Superbly balanced. Very greedy (lemon pie, custard), the first nose is at the same time remarkably fruity (yellow and green lemons, green almond, Williams pear, Golden apple).

On aeration, noble spices (cardamom, cloves, ginger) take over the olfactory space. 

Then, dark chocolate, candied lemons and vanilla take the measure of an aromatic palette that also features peat that is smoky, medicinal and camphorated.

 

Palate

Elegant, full of vivacity. Oscillating between root peat (gentian) and salt, green barley, white mint and aromatic plants (parsley, chives), the first nose is incredibly fresh.

Capers, green olives and aniseed flavours bring a lot of originality to the mid-palate.

Increasingly resinous (pine), vegetal (cough drops) and honeyed (lime), the aftertaste in turn raises the palette of flavours.

 

Overall

Long, racy. Creamy (almond milk), the beginning of the finish is herbaceous (tobacco), roasted (coffee), honeyed (acacia) and slightly camphorated.

With time, candied lemons, fresh figs and wild flowers (dandelion) precede a malty, animal (bacon) and spicy (star anise, cardamom) retro-olfaction.

It should be noted that the peat has become tenderly chocolatey over time.

The empty glass is mineral (shale), slightly tarry and heady (iris concrete).

 

Our Take

We’ve always enjoyed Compass Box’s bottlings, even in spite of some growing complaints about the prices of their whiskies, but hey whiskies are generally getting increasingly expensive, what are ya gonna do about it?

For an indie bottler like Compass Box, sourcing great casks and procuring them is getting increasingly harder now that more people are getting into the game of buying whole casks, whether for investment or to independently bottle for sale – prices are inevitably going to rise with demand.

 

 

But at the least, we’ve had some generally great experiences from Compass Box, most recently with their last LMDW bottling, This Is Not A Festival Whisky, which was bottled for LMDW's Whisky Live Paris in 2020. So we’ll just have to bite the bullet here and say this one looks like a grab. The tasting notes sounds delicious and also just the legacy of it makes it worth the while. And with the occasion – LMDW’s 65th – John ain’t gonna let us gonna down!

 

Cop the Drop of Not Verdict: Cop

 

This will soon be available on the LMDW website, here, at 179 EUR (152 GBP/209 USD).

Happy Hunting and Kanpai!

 

 

@111hotpot



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