The Spice Tree by Compass Box returns!September 24th, 2009
The U.S. launch will not be until October. Here are the details from Compass Box:
The Second Coming
First launched in 2005, we were forced to discontinue production under a legal threat by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) for our pioneering use of the highest quality French oak inner staves. This, despite rave reviews from consumers, trade and press. We agreed to disagree with the SWA and halted production (for the full story, see
Over the past three years we have developed a new maturation process which yields similar if not superior results to our previous method, and this new process is something the SWA can’t take any issue with.
The Whisky & The Method
As in the past, The Spice Tree is 100% malt whisky sourced from northern Highland distilleries, (notably and primarily malt whisky distilled at the Clynelish distillery). The primary maturation is in a mix of first-fill and refill American oak.
What is different is the secondary maturation. Rather than using inner stave inserts, as we did for the original Spice Tree, we rack the whisky into barrels with heavily toasted new French oak heads. We have created a method for getting a super heavy toast on the cask heads which imparts a flavour profile similar to the flat staves used for the original Spice Tree. We use oak with three different levels of toasting on the barrel heads, thus allowing us to blend the resultant whiskies to create additional layers of complexity. This secondary maturation lasts as long as two years.
The Spice Tree is a very rich malt whisky, suitable for after dinner sipping, as an accompaniment to certain cheeses, and especially, in cocktails.
Big, sweet aromas of clove, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. The palate is full, round and sweet, with the spice and vanilla complementing the core distillery characters and leaving a long finish.
Its rich, bold flavours make it most suitable for after-dinner sipping, as an accompaniment to certain cheeses, and ideal in cocktails.
Sourced entirely from northern Highland single malt distillieries, primarily the distillery in the village of Brora.
Primary maturation: first-fill and refill American oak. Secondary maturation: custom barrels with heavily toasted new French oak heads sourced from 195 year-old Vosges forests.
Bottled at 46% alcohol by volume. Natural colour. Not chill filtered.
John Glaser, Whiskymaker