Apologies for the lack of recent posts. I have no excuse. I’m lazy. Here’s hoping this post begins a run of regular posts. It’s no fun starting every post with an apology for lack of activity.
Let’s move on. My next review is of a blended whisky from the good folks at Compass Box. At least I’m guessing that they are good folks. For whatever reason, I imagine that anyone involved in the whisky industry is a good person. Because they, in some small way, bring me joy. Anyhow, it seems that Compass Box is setting the interwebs on fire. A few months back, having recently read that the Whisky Advocate had named Compass Box’s Great King Street as their Blended Whisky of the Year, I figured that it was a worthwhile early Scotch purchase (especially with its sub-$40 price tag). So off I drove to a big, supermarket-type liquor store to pick up the GKS, and wouldn’t you know they don’t carry it. I did, however, spot the Compass Box Asyla and, too lazy to drive down the road to the next liquor store, did a quick iPhone search for Asyla reviews. After seeing a few positive writeups, I grabbed it and was on my way.
Perhaps not the most scientific reasoning, but hey, things happen for a reason. Right? Right?
Let’s go to the tasting notes.
Nose – A nice light nose, and one whose flavors I found difficult to nail down. Honeyed apple sweetness, an herbal (grass? mint?) note, and a surprisingly robust alcohol heat that singes the nose hairs a bit (not that I have nose hairs – I wax).
Taste – On the palate, I was again surprised that the heat hits first and is really a primary component of the taste. Also, less sweet then expected. Some juniper and a hint of vanilla. Very light-bodied and subtle. After 15 or 20 minutes exposed to the open air, it seems to loosen up a bit, becoming smoother with some of the sweet flavors being highlighted (including a taste of banana?).
Finish – The finish remains rather dry, and gives a pleasant gentle warmness.
In my opinion, not a whisky that benefits from a splash of water.
Score – B-. It seems that this was just too light and delicate for me. I enjoy a nice light, honeyed dram as much as the next guy, but this was just too small. One other note – I had this bottle open for more than a full month before I wrote down my tasting notes. That is often the case, as I only bring out my notebook from time to time, and am usually just enjoying a leisurely drink. It seems that over the course of time, my appreciation for the Asyla faded. Early on, I quite enjoyed it, but by the time I wrote down my notes, it was too small/light for my tastes. Now, it could be that my tastes are changing rapidly (which they are, without question), but perhaps it could also be that the whisky changes after it has been open a while? I’ve seen other references on the whiskynets to this happening. But this is the only bottle that seemed to experience such a drastic change. What say you, whisky commenters?
Other, better reviews: