Whisky Advocate

Review: Compass Box Great King Street, 43%, $45

September 12th, 2011

Compass Box Great King Street, 43%, $45

After a series of esoteric and expensive releases, Compass Box has decided to bring it all back to the people with a blend — and how! The journey sets out as we might expect; all sweet vanilla ice cream, stewed pear tart, and peach melba, but then a wave of spice and white pepper provides an unexpected but delightful twist. It’s like Spice Tree meets Hedonism…Spiconism if you like. —Dominic Roskrow

Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 91

40 Responses to “Review: Compass Box Great King Street, 43%, $45”

  1. Scribe says:

    Hats off to Compass Box! A $45 bottling that gets a 91 rating is definitely worth my attention…especially since I have been a big fan of Spice Tree! Thanks for starting the week off on a positive note, John!

  2. Jewmalt says:

    A great, brass tax, review on this whisky. I had it on the “Whisky on the Hudson” whisky cruise last week and I’d say it was one of the highlights of the night. Sweet, spicy, balanced and completely pleasing!

  3. Red_Arremer says:

    I have really been anticipating this one and the notes make it sound very promising indeed– I assume the $’s RRP mean that it’s coming to the states?

  4. Rick H says:

    It’s here! $37 on sale at good whisky shops.

  5. lawschooldrunk says:

    AHEM! THIS IS A 50CL BOTTLE! That’s $67.50 for a 750ml bottle. Not so great, in my opinion.

  6. David Bailey Jr. says:

    A fantastic blend letting consumers know that not that is golden must be single malt. Excellent job by Glaser at creating another blended expression that is far different than Asyla. Definitely a good pickup.

  7. If I remember correctly the US version is a different blend than the UK one. Might be going crazy but I think that’s what I heard.

    • Just had a chat with Chris Maybin and it’s a yes and no, depending. The UK version may be a May bottling or a July bottling. The US version is a July bottling. The whisky inside should be the same~ish though.

  8. James says:

    Any idea about the distribution of this one in the US? Any coming to FL by chance??

  9. John Hansell says:

    I tasted my review sample. Very nice, in an unpretentious way.

  10. Chris Maybin says:

    Hi all, Thanks for all the kind comments on our new Great King Street. We’re very proud of it too!

    JewMalt is absolutely right on the sizing (thanks Joshua!) – it is available in the US in 750ml and 375ml formats at an SRP of $45 and $24 respectively, although if you can find it cheaper then snap it up!

    In the UK and Europe we are selling Great King Street in rather nice 500ml bottles. As rightly pointed out, 500ml is not a permitted size in the US (bizarrely), hence the reason for the different format.

    And just to clarify my chat with InwithBacchus (it was on Twitter so I could not be quite as expansive as I would have liked!) the only differences between GKS in the US and the rest of the world is in the size; the juice us exactly the same.

    Saying that, taking the artisanal approach of hand-selecting individual casks (as we do for all our whiskies), there will always be slight differences between each bottling. Which we kinda like. That is what art is about after all 🙂 The key thing is that the overall style stays the same – so if you like one bottling of GKS (or any of our whiskies) you will like all of them.

    While I’m here, can I heartily recommend you trying a GKS&S (Great King Street & Splash) Highball. John has been studying hard on getting the ideal recipe – this is his favourite so far: 1 part GKS, 2 parts Club Soda, 2 dashes bitters, lemon zest, loads of ice. Stirred to really cold. It’s really good.


  11. Chris Maybin says:

    James, Sorry, I forgot to answer your question. YES, GKS should be in Florida by the end of the month. We’re trying to get it out as far and wide as possible. Go to your local liquor store and demand it!

    • sam k says:

      Chris, any idea about going to PA? We don’t have “liquor stores” here per se, just one of the last state monopolies. Thanks!

      • Chris Maybin says:

        Hi Sam, I know that our friends in PA are doing some great work promoting (and selling) Compass Box at the moment. I’ll find out about GKS though and get back to you asap!

      • robinrobinson says:

        Sam: maybe a while before it gets to PA, you already know the story, the PLCB is a tough bureaucracy to crack. Its currently spreading quickly throughout NY and NJ, so depending on where you live, you may have to cross a border to find it.

    • James says:

      Thanks for letting me know!

  12. Gal says:

    This is an Awesome blend. my notes are:

    Nose: Vanilla up front, quite lemony, as in lemon pie, or meringue, green apples and maybe some pears too. quite fresh, with some oak notes.
    Palate: Creamy, but with a zing of gingery lemon stuff. vanilla custard, and some oriental candy, with bits of almonds, pistachios and sweet sultana towards the end, where a slight alcoholic bite is detected.
    Finish : medium,with oak notes (quite some wood here) , almonds , biscuits , and spice. Not very long, but long enough.

    At $45 for 750 ml. it’s a STEAL. get 12.
    you americans are so lucky.

  13. TheMandarin says:

    Gal, have you had the Double Single? I was wondering if it was anything like that. I got notes of lemon, pineapple, graham cracker, pecan and a strong, muscular wood finish on the DS.
    Would you compare King St. to a “Spiconism?”

    • Gal says:

      My notes on the DS says : olour : Pale Gold.

      Nose: grassy, vanilla, citrus , cloves, vanilla hovering on top. rye notes? , wood , and some coconut.

      Palate : Vanilla, cereal grains, fresh hot buns dough, a lot of wood and lemon drops, and a certain fruity quality i cant really put my finger on.

      Finish : Medium , with vanilla, lemon , wood and burnt sugar (bitter).

  14. Mehul says:

    I can get GKS for 37.99 in Gainesville, Fl

  15. Guillermo says:

    I’m sure no offense was intended, but as an English professor and native of Puerto Rico I think it is important to point out that if you want a soft rather than hard “c,” you follow it with an “e.” Hence: “spice,” “dice,” “lice,” mice,” and so on. Whereas a “c” followed with an “o” is a hard “c.” Hence “Soco,” “locomotive,” “vocal,” “rico suave,” etc. So the proper spelling would be “Spice-onism.”

    To quit beating around the bush: I don’t think the author intended his Compass Box amalgam to be read “SPICKonism” but it was spelled that way if you use typical pronunciation rules.

    No offense implied, and none taken. But I can say, given that I’m a Hispanic whisky lover, that my fellow latin whisky lovers did take note of this and laugh.

    Keep up the great work, all.

  16. Dominic Roskrow says:

    Hi Guillermo
    Golly! I am humbled that a Puerto Rican knows more about my language than I do! I really didn’t see that At all but as a student of Spanish and a lover of Spain and Catalonia, I am sure you understand that it was a genuine error. My excuse? I’m a journalist using a language as close to classic English as Spanish is to Italian. For what it’s worth, a lot of people laugh at my writing! Best regards.

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