Fresh off a mini-run of Peat Monster reviews, felt like the perfect time to finally dig into the Compass Box No Name 2. Like the original No Name, the second release focuses on peat and how Compass Box can play with the nuances of that seemingly one-dimensional profile.
Compared to the heavily peated CBNN1 this whisky is a bit toned down. The peat is noticeably more subdued and that’s, in part, because instead of Ardbeg making up the majority of the blend it’s Caol Ila with a bit of Talisker. Both of which are lower on the peat scale and Talisker briging a different style of smoke to the party. There’s also a good bit of Clynelish as well that helps enhance the sweetness and further dilute the peat leavel.
Compass Box No Name 2 – Details and Tasting Notes
Distiller: Various (Caol Ila, Talisker, Clynelish, “Highland Malt” (60% Clynelish, 20% Dailuaine, 20% Teaninich))
Mash: 100% Malted Barley
Blend: Caol Ila (75.5%), Clynelish (13.5%), Talisker (10.5%), Highland Malt Blend (0.5%)
Blender: Compass Box
Cask: Refill Sherry Butt, Recharred ex-Bourbon Hogshead,
Cask Strength | Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color
Coastal minerality, dried orchard fruit, smoke, dried banana, vanilla saltwater taffy, honey candy, fresh pastries and touches of wax and cereal sweetness.
Honey candy, smoke, coastal minerality, orchard fruits, camphor, herbal spice, saltwater taffy, fresh pastries, candied orange peels and a waxy cereal sweetness.
Long -> Smoke, fruit, honey candy, cinnamon red hots and a touch of malt.
BALANCE, BODY and FEEL
Good, full-round, oily and a touch on the hot side.
Compass Box No Name 2 – Overall
Aroma is dry, minerally, chalky banana chips at first, but quickly opens to honied fruits, smoke and fresh pastries showing a lovely malty profile underpinning it all;
Palate hits with honey and smoke with a malt kicker followed by sweeter dessert and fruit notes with a coastal profile weaving through;
Finish takes a turn for the sweet with fruit and candy notes fading out into the smoke.
This is a stunning whisky, I can’t say enough good about this whisky and what it brings to the table.
Compass Box No Name 2 – Final Thoughts and Score
So close to a 5/5, it’s a tad harsh at moments and the richness isn’t quite there, so it pulls up just short, but what a ride it is. This is a stunning whisky. An austere whisky that pulls the best of classic fruity and malty notes from un-peated whisky and merges them the sharp coastal and smoky notes from Islay and Skye. It does it in a way that’s almost seamless and brings such a unique profile it’s hard to put the glass down.
Compass Box No Name 2 is one of my favorite whiskies I bought in 2020 and if I had written about it a few weeks ago it would have been in my favorite whiskies of 2020, instead, it’s currently sitting at the top of my list for 2021. This is as beautiful and beastly as a storm sweeping from the ocean, up the beach and drenching the world while you’re watching, safe and warm, by a fire. The No Names have truly been the most exciting releases from Compass Box in the last couple years and I’m hoping we get a third.
Compass Box No Name 2 Review
This is brutal beauty made real with a perfect balance of sharp coastal, dark earthy and bright fruity characteristics.
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