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« The Day In Pictures | Main | No Authority »
Tuesday
Jun072011

Bringing Back The Blends

I have a deep passion for all things retro - I still practically live in the '80s.  Therefore, I have always admired John Glaser's enthusiasm for blended whisky, a great drink for a Mad Men-themed party and the first choice of an all-but-dead drinking culture.  I don't believe that John loves blended Scotch because it's a nostalgic throwback kind-of-thing, but rather because he really finds beauty in the grains.  Grain whisky is lost on just about 99% of the single malt drinking population and I can understand why - the flavors are more herbal, the textures not nearly as supple.  However, the art of marrying well-made grain whisky with quality single malt is still a fascinating and rewarding adventure should one choose to immerse oneself in it.  It takes time though.  I didn't just pour myself a glass of John's Compass Box Double Single (a delicate balance of Glen Elgin and Port Dundas) and jump out of my chair - it took time and focus to figure out what was going on in that glass.  When I figured it out, I was spellbound.  For that reason, I've always felt that John was fighting an uphill battle because most people have no patience or desire to drink something that doesn't speak to them instantly. 

John isn't backing down from that challenge, however. 

He's more fired up than ever.

Click on this link and see what John is up to now.  I'm going to try and talk with him later this week to get some more info.  I'll also be in London at the end of the month, so hopefully I can visit with him and see exactly what the future holds. 

Stay tuned.

-David Driscoll

Reader Comments (5)

Is there any chance we are going to get this? I noticed it is bottled in the dreaded 50cl. Hopefully Mr. Glaser will take pity on me a do at least a limited run for the US Compass Box-heads that want to be able to get this "easily." Also, I am with you on blended/vatted whisk(e)y David. When done correctly, (think Hibiki 17, Black Bull 30, Flaming Heart, that unbelievable 1970s Dewers, etc...) a blend stands on par, if not above, most single malts.

June 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTQM

I'm not sure. Going to ask later. I will definitely pick up a bottle when I am in London. We can taste it when I get back.

June 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDavid D

Guys I've been informed by John and by Robin at Compass Box (Via Facebook), that we'll be getting this in the fall. Actually I was told, "Do not fear, you will see it in the states in the Fall." So that is encouraging.

Also while attending the Chicago WhiskyFest I got a chance to speak with John for a good 10 minutes about his stuff and Great King Street came up. You could immediatley see the intensity and passion he has for the blends. He proceeded to say, "This is going to be our mission for the next 10 years of our company", referring to bringing stature back to great blends. At the same time, I got the impression from him that he didn't want it to be all academic and pretensious. Instead he wants this to be whiskey that you can casually enjoy any way you like not worried about picking apart all of the flavors and aromas. Essentially, whiskey for easy drinking.

Anyways, this is exciting and I'm glad a company like CB and a guy like John and putting it on their back.

June 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJason Pyle

Thanks Jason. Good info.

June 7, 2011 | Registered CommenterDavid Driscoll

years ago susan had john do a tasting at macarthur park...lot of fun trying the various CB's...still nursing my 2nd ed spice tree from then .... hey, can I open my flaming heart now?

June 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpaul

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