Launched alongside another new blend, Compass Box Phenomenology, Compass Box No Name is the peatiest whisky from the independent Scotch blender to date. Both are designed to challenge a drinker’s “thinking about how a whisky is experienced and understood,” by focusing on the sensory experiences that both whiskies bring to the table.
Compass Box No Name is a clear straw in the glass with long tears. On the nose there is a blow of bonfire ashes, quickly transporting you to a night in the forest. There are some strong peat notes and a touch of iodine. It also has some hints of wax and tar, but there is something sweet, a touch of late-summer cherries and plums. Finally, a slight note of vanilla. The blend is mellow and more light on the palate than expected, but full of Islay character. There are some wonderful peat and wood smoke notes. But it is also sweet, full of blackberries, cherries and a soft touch of vanilla. Compass Box No Name also has iodine, tar, medicinal notes. Powerful on its smoky side, it also is slightly spicy. The finish is light, slowly parting away from the smoky notes and leaving behind just a slight sweet memory. Compass Box No Name is wonderfully blended. It has all the character you can expect from an Islay whisky and also keeps the sweet Ardbeg notes. It is complex and intriguing. Little by little, it emerges from each of its layers, bringing your nose and palate to new exciting notes. This is a mandatory dram for anyone that likes peated whiskies. It is more than an Ardbeg, a wonderful sample of the Islay spirit. Don’t doubt it for one second, Compass Box No Name is as Islay as it can get.