Whisky Focus - Compass Box Peat Monster Arcana Review

Compass Box Peat Monster Arcana Review

16th November 2020
Review of the new Compass Box Peat Monster Arcana, a deliciously well constructed peaty pleasure.

Compass Box Peat Monster ArcanaContinuing their 20th anniversary celebrations innovative whiskymaker Compass Box has released Compass Box Peat Monster Arcana, a limited release blended malt whisky.

Peat Monster Arcana is the result of a long-running experiment into the secrets and mysteries of oak and smoke. A cask strength version of The Peat Monster was further matured in three French oak custom casks for more than two years; it was then blended with malt whiskies from the Talisker, Miltonduff and Ardbeg Distilleries in order to complement the richly spicy and more subtly smoky profile that developed.

"We have been experimenting with French oak since the early days of our company," says Compass Box Founder and Whiskymaker John Glaser. "Peat Monster Arcana is the first Compass Box to feature smoky whiskies matured in French oak. We’re delighted to be able to build on this experiment in our 20th anniversary year and we hope dedicated fans of The Peat Monster discover a new side to this charismatic whisky."

Available globally this month, Peat Monster Arcana joins limited edition releases Hedonism Felicitas and Rogues’ Banquet to celebrate the anniversary. James Saxon, lead whiskymaker for Peat Monster Arcana says: "It is a truly delicious release and one that has taught us so much about the influence of French oak. Of course, there will always be further mysteries to explore."

Compass Box Peat Monster Arcana 20th Anniversary Edition is a non chill-filtered blend malt whisky, it has bottled at 46% ABV and has a RRP of £75, there are 8,328 bottles available globally and you will find it available from specialist online whisky retailers such as The Whisky Exchange, The Whisky Shop and Master of Malt

Compass Box Peat Monster Arcana Review

William Morrison's Tasting Notes:

Nose: Gentle ashy sweet peat smoke with a dusting of Talisker like pepper, some distant vanilla and a delicate citrus fruitiness. Just a whiff of milk chocolate lurking in the background.

Taste: Sweet peat and pepper fill the mouth and are quickly joined by some delicious tongue tingling oak spices. Some vanilla and honey follow, some zesty lemon and a touch of apple add some fruitiness, some late ginger.

Finish: Long, the milk chocolate note still hangs in there, the sweet peat becomes more spicy before receding to leave some lingering, slightly drying, peppery spice.

Comment: Not quite the Peat 'Monster' but a deliciously well constructed peaty pleasure all the same, it becomes more peaty and spicy with each mouthful and the delicious Talisker like pepper has a say from start to finish. Another creative Peat Monster expression from Compass Box.

SMW Whisky Score 89/100

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