June 29, 2006

Compass Box Eleuthera Scotch Review

Eleuthera by Compass Box
Vatted Malt Scotch Whisky
92 Proof (46% ABV)
Typical Price: About $50 for 750ml - Buy it at Internet Wines & Spirits
Compass Box

Eleuthera by Compass BoxHow far would you go to get your hands on two 12 year olds and an 18 year old? Now hold on a second, we're not talking about anything that would earn you a room in the R. Kelly wing of your local prison - we're talking about Scotch here. Specifically, we're talking about Compass Box Eleuthera, a combination of three whiskies aged 12 and 18 years. It will come as no surprise that we like Compass Box Scotch, especially after the fondling we gave our bottle of Asyla. Read on to find out the difference between a blend and a "vatted malt," and see what we thought about this whisky in particular.

For those not in the know, a blend is a combination of any old whiskies. If you're combining only single malt whiskies, you can call it a vatted malt. We're pretty sure we learned fhat from Kevin over at the Scotch Blog - if not directly from him, then from reading his book. Eleuthera is a combination of an 18 year old Glenlossie, 12 year old Caol Ila and 12 year old Clynelish, all of which are single malts. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle!

The Color: Golden
In the bottle, this Scotch has a golden color that makes us think of the beaches of its namesake (a Bahamian island) at sunset.

The Nose: Freedom
According to the bottle, Eleuthera is the greek word for freedom. We're not the cunning linguists you'd need to find that out, but we sure liked the smell of this Scotch. It was warm and smokey, peaty and rich.

The Taste: Big Smoke
On first sip, we found Eleuthera to be extremely rich, starting out sweet and ending up with a big wallop of smokey peat. Surprisingly, it had a mellowness to it that seemed at odds with its high alcohol content, and a nice chewy softness. We were surprised at just how long the finish was, very pleasant and smokier than we had expected. We're not talking the campfire smoke of Lagavulin here - it's a bit more restrained because there's some sweet Highland mixed in with the Islay.

The Verdict: Get There
Once again, Compass Box has outdone itself. Eleuthera has everything we've ever liked about the smokey, peaty Islay whiskies we've tried, and has added a layer of complexity to it. Instead of being overpoweringly smokey and only playing one note, Eleuthera adds a layer of complexity you should definitely try if you're remotely interested in Scotch.

The Compass Box product page says this Scotch is great paired with "blue veined cheeses and certain types of chocolate" - we're guessing dark chocolate - but we definitely know one thing. We're planning to pair Eleuthera with our glass a lot more often, and remember when we asked how far you'd go for two 12 year olds and an 18? We recommend you go as far as you need to.

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Posted by Jake Jamieson at June 29, 2006 8:15 AM
Recent Comments

I cannot find Eleuthera any longer in New York City. According to reps at product sample tastings they say that Eleuthera has been discontinued. I had attempted to reverse engineer this blend at home. But now have given up because of the unique complexity of this Scotch. I have been unable to find that elusive sour + tart note that gives a steady balance of continuity like the dramatically continous musical note of fade-up suspense scenes in movies.

Posted by: Scooterboy at May 29, 2009 12:03 PM

A little bit of trivia for you guys.
John Glaser was vacationing on the island of Eleuthera when he made the decision to start his own whisky company.
Compass Box was born.

Posted by: Kevin Erskine at June 29, 2006 11:24 PM
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