Tag Archives: Scotch

Compass Box Asyla


Another unique blended Scotch whiskey from experimental distiller Compass Box. This one hits all the right notes for around $50 a bottle.

Asyla is a blended Scotch composed of 50% single grain, 40% Highland malt and 10% Speyside malt. For the math-challanged, that’s 50% single malt, a fairly high percentage in the world of blends, and it shows in its creamy smooth texture. This expression is aged in 100% first-fill American oak barrels and bottled at 80 proof.

The nose starts with hints of fruit and grape with malted barley creating a gently sweet and enticing aroma.

The first sip gives a light spice nip before the smooth and delicate flavors serenade the tastebuds. A buttery beginning ushers in gentle fruits and malt. Mid body gets a little more substantial with charred oak in a way that completes the experience rather than competing with it.

It leaves with another bite of cinnamon just to remind you of its time spent in the American oak.

I’m certainly not the only one who appreciates Compass Box’s artistry on this one. “If you can hear a purring noise, it is me tasting this,” Jim Murray explains in his Whisky Bible 2014.

4 no

Highland Park Freya


A 15 year Highland single malt, this is the latest addition to the Highland Park Valhalla Series. It shares the unique, viking-inspired wooden display that Thor and Loki enjoy.

It comes in at 102.4 proof, but doesn’t have as much burn a younger dram at this level would. Smokier than her Asgardian brothers, Freya is not content to just follow in her family’s footsteps. She may be a lady, but she’s still a goddess with an attitude.

The first impression as she fills the glass is she’s a little paler than you’d expect from a 15. The aroma rising up hints at her peaty nature without overpowering her balancing orange and floral scents.

The peat makes itself known on first taste, but gracefully allows oak and pear to assert themselves. Don’t be lulled by her grace, she will bite if you don’t show her proper respect.

A creeping burn follows her out, leaving a malted oak reminder of your time with her.