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Compass Box Thrill with New Blend

I hope that my dear friends at the Compass Box Whisky Company of Edinburgh, Scotland will forgive me when I suggest there’s a slightly messianic quality to the things they do.

Take the new blended Scotch that they’ve just launched, Great King Street The Artist’s Blend. If the name wasn’t pretentious enough, here’s what company founder John Glaser had to say about it.

“This is more than a brand; it’s a mission. A mission to get people – all people - to take a fresh look at Blended Scotch; to join in the Rebirth of the Blend: in how Blends are made, how they are viewed, how they are consumed.”

Gosh! The “rebirth of the blend” no less. Well, that’s ambitious – but I was hardly aware that blended Scotch needed “rebirthing” (with over 92% of the world market for Scotch whisky it’s hardly missing in action). It sounds rather unpleasant actually, with echoes of hippy cod-psychology or the demented ramblings of some extreme religious cult.

So it took me a day or so to get past the hype (sorry, John) and open the sample they sent me.

Wow! I’ve gotta be fair: this is good, really good. In fact, it’s great. Smooth, warm, elegant with oak, vanilla and spice all over the mouth – this is my kinda whisky. Forgive and forget the over-the-top embellishments on the copy and website – just get some. Quick!

The Artist’s Blend launched in Europe earlier this month, with the US and other markets following suit in September. Available in EU markets in a 50cl format, the US will get the standard 750ml and 375ml bottles. 43%, non chill filtered (naturally). The name and label are inspired by Compass Box’s registered office address in Scotland - 24 Great King Street, in Edinburgh. The UK RRP will be around £25.00. Visit the website at www.greatkingstreet.com