Compass Box‘s first vatted malt, Eleuthera, was a combination of a 15yo malt from the village of Brora (Clynelish), matured in re-charred hogsheads, together with a 12yo malt from Islay’s village of Port Askaig (Caol Ila). With the Clynelish no longer available in re-charred hogsheads, Compass Box decided to retire the recipe rather than re-vamp it with inferior cask types.
46% abv, €65, blended malt, non-chill filtered, natural colour
Nose: a whiff of peat and smoke, meaty, salty, bacon, sweet, fruit, ripe cherries, earthy, mushrooms
Palate: spicy, meaty, sweet, vanilla, fruit, cherries, honey, citrus, limes, spicy, white pepper
Finish: firm, sweet, vanilla, honey, ripe cherries, a hint of smoke lingers, medium dry
Conclusion: this dram shoots around to all regions of the olfactory system. After some time breathing, she settles down to a sweet, slight smoky beauty. Both the Clynelish and the Caol Ila are present, preserving either identity very well.
I am really, really sad this has been discontinued.
The name “Eleuthera”
is derived from the feminine form of the Greek adjective ἐλεύθερος, eleutheros, i.e. “free” (wikipedia
Brainwave: Since both Caol Ila and Clynelish do really well with a finish in an ex-Sherry butt, I would like to see an experimental Eulethera with such recipe…