Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Whiskey Wednesday: Your Flamin' Heart

I wanted to open the year on a high note by reviewing a great whisky. The third edition Flaming Heart is the latest brainchild of John Glaser at Compass Box. I have to admit that I have not always been as big of a Glaser acolyte as some in the whisky world. While I admire his innovative streak, his whiskies haven't always lived up to the hype. But this edition of Flaming Heart, released as a celebration of the tenth anniversary of the founding of Compass Box, won me over.

Flaming Heart is a vatted or blended malt, meaning it is a blend of single malts from different distilleries. One of the great things about Glaser is that he is pretty open about the composition of his blends. According to the fact sheet on Compass Box, it is composed of:
Single malt whiskies from seven distilleries located in the northern Highlands and Islands. Primarily whiskies from distilleries located in the villages of Brora (Highlands), Port Askaig (Islay) and the Isle of Mull (Islands).
This means that the whisky is primarily made from Clynelish, Caol Ila and Tobermory (which could be the basic Tobermory or the peated Ledaig). The label give us the additional information that 61% of the blend is from the seven Highland malts.


Flaming Heart was bottled in September 2010 at 48.9% abv. It goes for around $90.

Peat dominates the front of the nose, followed by malt, hay, and grass in the background. The palate starts with sweet smoke, then picks up some of that rich malt that likely comes from the Clynelish.

This is a wonderful whisky. Combining the peatiness of Islay and the islands with the richness of Clynelish gives an almost Brora like profile, or as close as you can probably get today. The peat is a little more dominant than I'd like and you have to concentrate to get the rich maltiness out of it, but it's all there. Probably the best Compass Box whisky I've had. A good one to start off the year!

One note regarding the packaging. The Flaming Heart has a lovely label and comes in a striking, clear plastic box, but I wish they hadn't used so much plastic. There is enough waste in whisky packaging without adding a bunch of plastic where they could use cardboard or nothing at all.

1 comment:

NP said...

loving it. even better than Hedonism