Whisky Advocate

New Compass Box Great King Street New York Blend: the details

September 7th, 2012

I asked John Glaser if he would create a new whisky and debut it for us at WhiskyFest New York this fall. He said he would, and here are the details. This limited edition Compass Box whisky will debut during the WhiskyFest New York seminar program on October 27, 2012 and go on sale to the public immediately afterwards. John Glaser sent me information on this new blend, and it sounds very exciting. Here are the details, straight from John:


 A Scotch Whisky Blend Made Just for New York

 Great King Street to Release the First of its Limited Release Regional Blends


GREAT KING STREET, the Blended Scotch whisky specialist brand launched by the Compass Box Whisky Company last year, has announced they will launch next month their NEW YORK BLEND, the first of the brand’s Limited Release regional blends.

Compass Box founder and Great King Street whiskymaker John Glaser explains: “We were approached by the New York WhiskyFest last year asking us to debut a new whisky at this year’s festival, and I thought this would be a great opportunity to start a series of regional blends, something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.  What better place to begin than New York?”

Glaser has long been inspired by the old Scotch whisky blending houses of 120 years ago who commonly made different blends for regional tastes.  He has also been inspired by the ways in which blends were made in this period, delivering far more flavour than those of today.  These things have formed the basis of his whiskymaking approach for the Great King Street brand.

For the New York Blend, Glaser made two key discoveries that inspired this one-off, limited edition bottling.  One was an ancient New York Times article describing an 1890s bartender named Patrick Duffy who was responsible for instigating the importation of branded Scotch whisky in glass bottles for the first time into New York.  Second, was an old Scotch blend recipe from a Glasgow blending house from the same era. Glaser fashioned a blend based on the old recipe and dedicated the bottling to Duffy, and the New York Blend was born.

What sets this Great King Street blend apart from Scotch whisky blends of today is flavour.  The New York Blend uses lots of peaty single malts, plenty of sherry cask-aged single malts, and a much higher proportion of malt to grain whisky (80%/20%) than is typically used today (generally 30%/70%).

The Great King Street “New York Blend” will be launched on Saturday, October 27th, 2012 at the New York Whisky Fest at the Marriot Marquis hotel in Manhattan.  Only 1,840 bottles are being released and it will be available primarily in the New York metropolitan area  and via the Compass Box Whisky Company web site.  Glaser plans more Great King Street regional blends in the future, but for now he is mum about the details of where or when!

No Responses to “New Compass Box Great King Street New York Blend: the details”

  1. Louis says:

    Super cool, this is seriously different from previous CBW releases. Any word on price and when it will hit the shelves?

    • John Hansell says:

      Not sure of price, but like I noted in my opening paragraph, it will go on sale immediately after WhiskyFest New York. Like, the next day. Retailers should have the product by then and put it up for sale right away.

  2. Gary Gillman says:

    Looks great and the Compass Box graphic designs and packaging are stunning as usual.


  3. […] WhiskyFest New York will be the setting for the debut of a special limited release regional blend from John Glaser and Compass Box: Great King Street New York Blend. More information about this unique blend can be found on the Whisky Advocate blog. […]

  4. politicalidiot says:

    I like King Street as it is a good value. If they crank up the price for the regional blends, well, I’ll probably pass.

  5. The suggested retail price in the US for Great King Street NY Blend is $75.00. Without giving too much away, the recipe is completely different to the Artist’s Blend, but there is definitely a big step up in quality. We are delighted with how it’s turned out but obviously the whisky lovers of NY and beyond will be the true judges. 🙂

  6. Red_Arremer says:

    Hoping I can get some of this up in boston…

  7. Hi Red, Most of it will be sold in NY but a small amount has been allocated to Boston, so you should be able to track a bottle down!

  8. Bob says:

    Do you know the names of any stores in NYC that will have the NY blend after the tasting. I will be there for the event but am leaving the next day and would like to pick one up before I fly out.

    • John Hansell says:

      I’m sure you wil find it at most places that currently carry existing Compass Box whiskies. We list specialty retailers in the back of our magazine and on our website.

  9. Hi Bob, John’s absolutely right. We have allocated GKS NY to customers who are already big supporters of Compass Box like Park Avenue Liquors and Astor Wine & Spirits, but many more as well. Hopefully you can pick up a bottle before they all go!

    • John Hansell says:

      I didn’t want to show favoritism to any given retailer, but those were the first two that came to mind. Bob, some places are closed on Sunday, so if you’re shopping on Sunday make sure they are open.

  10. Travis Lampton says:

    Please tell me that some of this will find its way to charleston, sc. i try my best to be an advocate for Great King Street and everyone that i have shared it with has become a big fan. Even my wife, who does not drink scotch, loves king street.

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