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Compass Box Eleuthera

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Compass Box Eleuthera

Postby patrick dicaprio » Tue Aug 30, 2005 2:34 am

All i can say is, damn this is one big whisky!!! here are my notes. I feel exactly about this whisky as i did the film Million Dollar baby. I could appreciate it easily, and it is a great experience, but not sure i can say it was enjoyable. These are probably the longest notes i have made on any whisky:

Nose: Hot, singes the nose. Medicinal. Less tar, more peat--more Lagavulin than Ardbeg. Some lemon/citrus after the peat wears off. A distinct whiff of the sea at the end.

Palate: Very Big! Oily, hot and smoky. Distinctly salty. Slightly sweet at first rapidly overcome by the strength.

Finish:More salt, hot and very long. It lasts until tomorrow.

Comments: Very complex, layered. One of the biggest whiskies, big in every respect. It is easily appreciated but not easily enjoyed.
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Re: Compass Box Eleuthera

Postby voigtman » Tue Aug 30, 2005 3:04 am

patrick dicaprio wrote:All i can say is, damn this is one big whisky!!! here are my notes. I feel exactly about this whisky as i did the film Million Dollar baby. I could appreciate it easily, and it is a great experience, but not sure i can say it was enjoyable. These are probably the longest notes i have made on any whisky:

Nose: Hot, singes the nose. Medicinal. Less tar, more peat--more Lagavulin than Ardbeg. Some lemon/citrus after the peat wears off. A distinct whiff of the sea at the end.

Palate: Very Big! Oily, hot and smoky. Distinctly salty. Slightly sweet at first rapidly overcome by the strength.

Finish:More salt, hot and very long. It lasts until tomorrow.

Comments: Very complex, layered. One of the biggest whiskies, big in every respect. It is easily appreciated but not easily enjoyed.


Nice notes and I agree about Million Dollar Baby! I almost bought Eleuthera until I saw at the Compass Box Whisky web site that it contained Glenlossie in with the Caol Ila and Clynelish, both of which I love in almost all the instantiations I've had the pleasure to taste to date. Never tried Glenlossie per se and it is one of many malts I would not likely try if I had to buy a full bottle (too little expectation of taste value for money, frankly). But your review makes Eleuthera sound worth a gamble. Also, I have never had even the slightest hint of saltiness in any whisk(e)y, so this sounds interesting too (and, BTW, I am NOT trying to revitalize any "no NaCl in whisky" thread that may or may not be old fodder here in this forum). Ed V.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Aug 30, 2005 4:06 am

Ed, if you want to experience salt in whisky, try the Bruichladdich Links Augusta (I believe there's still some at T&V) or Jura Superstition. Both have a very strongly salty finish--I likened the Jura to having a salt shaker in the bottom of your dram with the top unscrewed. I didn't really care for it, to be honest. The Augusta was intensely soapy on first opening, but that disappeared shortly. I didn't like it at first, but it grew on me--in fact, I am at this moment having the last of it, and the last few drams have been the best. I imagine the experience of salt is subjective, to some extent, but those two stood out in my mind. I've yet to experience something that I would say was salty on the palate, but that's subjective, as well, like chocolate in Glenfiddich.

I don't think we've had an argument about salt here, at least not in the brief time I've been around. As Michael Jackson said (and I paraphrase), "I never said there was salt in whisky. I said it tasted like salt." It's pretty hard to tell someone that he didn't taste what he thought he did.

The Eleuthera sounds very interesting. I will keep an eye out for a dram of it when I'm traveling next month.
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Postby Admiral » Tue Aug 30, 2005 4:35 am

I don't think we've had an argument about salt here, at least not in the brief time I've been around.


I recall there was some discussion, but it didn't reach the same intensity of opinions that were aired in the magazine itself.

Cheers,
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Postby Tom » Tue Aug 30, 2005 5:26 pm

Yes, I started a poll on it. Mainly because I reread Mr Jackson's books and came to the conclusion that he changes opinions about this three times in the same book...
So far no conclusions to be found unfortunatly. I recall a thorough discussion on a belgian forum a while ago but there was no concrete conclusion there either. Mostly a matter of belief. but I think its fair what Jackson said, there doesnt has to be proof that there is actual salt in a dram, if it tastes salty to you then it tastes salty to you, period.

btw, I heard that to a molecular level Glenfarclas is actually the most salty Scotch malt there is. what'ya think about that! (Sorry about going off topic)

To the topic, I agree on the eleuthera, its a great vatted, and so are all the compass box bottlings. Unfortunatly I must admit I cant recall exactly how it tastes... I sampled the entire range on a festival once while talking to John Glaser, I sampled over 30 drams and didn't use a spittoon... Needless to say my opinions arent very detailed of that day plus I didnt made any more notes after 10. but I do remember the compass box range because it was the last i sampled and I was very very impressed.
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Postby hpulley » Tue Aug 30, 2005 5:39 pm

I enjoy Eleuthera but the price here, same or more than the bottles of single malt it contains (which have ages) makes it seem too expensive. I'm just a vattist, I know...

Harry
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Postby bernstein » Tue Aug 30, 2005 5:39 pm

Tom wrote:...and I was very very impressed.

Off topic: And I'm as always very, very impressed by your expertise, your accuracy and your love of whisky!
Congrats to become a Gold Member, Tom!
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Postby voigtman » Tue Aug 30, 2005 8:50 pm

MrTattieHeid wrote:Ed, if you want to experience salt in whisky, try the Bruichladdich Links Augusta (I believe there's still some at T&V) or Jura Superstition. Both have a very strongly salty finish--I likened the Jura to having a salt shaker in the bottom of your dram with the top unscrewed. I didn't really care for it, to be honest. The Augusta was intensely soapy on first opening, but that disappeared shortly. I didn't like it at first, but it grew on me--in fact, I am at this moment having the last of it, and the last few drams have been the best. I imagine the experience of salt is subjective, to some extent, but those two stood out in my mind. I've yet to experience something that I would say was salty on the palate, but that's subjective, as well, like chocolate in Glenfiddich.

I don't think we've had an argument about salt here, at least not in the brief time I've been around. As Michael Jackson said (and I paraphrase), "I never said there was salt in whisky. I said it tasted like salt." It's pretty hard to tell someone that he didn't taste what he thought he did.

The Eleuthera sounds very interesting. I will keep an eye out for a dram of it when I'm traveling next month.


Mr. T, thanks for the reply. I tried a bottle of Jura Superstition last year and didn't get any saltiness at all. I thought it was better than the standard 10 yo, by a considerable margin, and I admit that I liked the Superstition more as I got used to it, but I have been in no hurry to replace the bottle given that, e.g., Ardbeg 10 is so reasonably priced and, to my tastes, vastly superior. I have been wary of those Augusta Links Bruichladdichs given your prior, and now repeated, comment about it having an intense soapy taste. I love a good experiment, but prefer not to perform them on myself, other things equal! Table & Vine also have 2 bottles of the St. Andrews Links 'laddies in with the 2 Augusta bottles, so I will most likely snag one of those first. Frankly, I REALLY don't like soapy whisky (or FWP-ed whisky either, for that matter, but I'm not going there ...).

The Eleuthera and other Compass Box whiskies are available at Town & Country, BTW. I found "The Peat Monster" to be good, but relatively expensive and not all that much a monster in the peat dimension. I have not tried the Aslya or Hedonism. The problem is that these are relatively expensive and there are so many single malts I still want to try. I also agree with Harry about Eleuthera in regard to the Caol Ila and Clynelish malts in it: these are old favorites of mine, available at good prices, so why not just enjoy them as singles? And T & C has Caol Ila 25 for a mere $204! (Too bad some of the bottles are recumbent on the shelf.)

I completely agree with comments regarding taste not being subject to dispute: if someone says they taste salt or chocolate or rubber, coconuts, etc., in a whisky, then I see no reason to disbelieve them. But if I cannot taste that particular taste, especially if someone else finds it to be intense, then I know I am calibrated, palate-wise, differently, so I factor that into tasing notes I read. Of course, I still read tasting notes, and very much enjoy doing so, but, thus far, I seem to be calibrated differently than everyone else. I cannot even taste chocolate in Ardbeg, despite having tried Ardbegs from Uigeadail and TEN up through Ardbeggeddon and VOA and some indie Ardbegs. And I never get pepper in any Talisker 10 I have had, or coconut in Springbank 21, sad to say. But this is likely just me and maybe it will change with time or more experience. I can live with it!

Finally, although I would never dispute someone's tastes, I have to admit that I cannot believe that any of the five primary tastes can be smelled in any meaningful way. Thus, when I read a tasting note for a single malt and the nose is described as salty, I assume this is rubbish, basically reflecting what the taster is expecting to smell or has read somewhere. Saltiness is a perfect example: even concentrated brine has no salty smell and neither does a heap of salt crystals (there are no NaCl molecules above solid NaCl). Note that this is an easy experiment to do at home, and, with a partner, it can be done in true blind fashion. Fine water droplets that are inhaled will certainly evoke some sensations, as would a snoot full of brine, but not a salty smell. (This is probably not good to do at home or anywhere else.) Salt spray at the beach, of course, is another matter entirely: the flux and fleen of rotting organics certainly gives characteristic marine "aromas." But it is not salt "smell." My two cents. Ed V.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Aug 30, 2005 11:49 pm

Ed, I'm surprised that the finish on the Superstition didn't whomp you upside the head with something...but you're right about individual tastes. I've never tasted coconut in Springbank or chocolate in Ardbeg, either. (Didn't know you were supposed to taste chocolate in Ardbeg.) Christian tastes apple in Bruichladdich 10, and I taste pear...or was it the other way around? Pepper in Talisker is another whole story--I remember some being absolutely Tabascoesque, but I haven't tasted that in a long time (in a Talisker, anyway).

Don't blame you for passing on the Augusta--I'd never likely buy another one. I will say that it probably presented the greatest turnaround in my opinion of a bottle that I've ever experienced. The first dram was so unpleasantly soapy, I could only wonder how I was going to dispose of the bottle. But as I said, that almost entirely disappeared, and I quite liked it by the end. Still, if I can get to one of those St A's before you and someone else do, I will definitely nab it.

Recumbent whisky! That surely offends me. One of us needs to get over to T&C and stand those boys up.
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Postby voigtman » Sun Sep 04, 2005 2:48 am

MrTattieHeid wrote:Still, if I can get to one of those St A's before you and someone else do, I will definitely nab it.

Recumbent whisky! That surely offends me. One of us needs to get over to T&C and stand those boys up.


Mr. T, T & V now has only one St. Andrews 'laddie left. I have not clooped its cork yet, but it will get its chance in due course. It really annoys me that Town & Country has no idea what is has on the shelves, but it is at least consistent with their past practice: I bought 2 bottles of Auchentoshan 21, 1975, 55.4% ABV, "Official Distillery Archive" from them for only $56 per bottle. I subsequently bought another bottle at T & V for $110, which was STILL a bargin. This is a superb, sherry-casked malt, just sublime. In contract, my Auchentoshan 10 was so f****d up with FWP, I had to pour it down the drain after less than 1 dram consumed.
Slainte, Ed V.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Sep 04, 2005 7:22 am

Must have been awful if you gave up on it that quick! I think I would have left it open a while--as I noted, the horrendous soapiness in the Augusta seemed to evaporate after opening.

I guess I'll have to pass on the St A, having picked up a Royal Troon at Federal in Boston this past week. Unless it's still there when I get back from Scotland!
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Postby Drrich1965 » Mon Oct 09, 2006 10:43 pm

Just opened a bottle, and it reminds me of what an older Caol Ila from a sherry cask might task like. Nice stuff, not the most complex at first sitting, but nice.
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Postby Laurentius » Wed Oct 11, 2006 7:00 am

I found this a very interesting and informative discussion, i am still finding my feet with tasting notes and the interpretation there-off and have often found myself thinking that i have defunct taste or smell senses - still love my whisky though!

A stupid question, but what does FWP mean? is this some arcane tasters acronym that only gets revealed to the inner circle???
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Postby Lawrence » Wed Oct 11, 2006 7:15 am

Laurentius wrote:A stupid question, but what does FWP mean? is this some arcane tasters acronym that only gets revealed to the inner circle???


It means "French Whores Perfume" and is evident by a high violet/toilet/urinal block taste in the whisky. It can be over powering. Many have made note of it however there are quite a few on this forum who deny its existence.

I have experienced it several times from one particular distillery and have no doubt. It's not a good thing.

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Postby bamber » Wed Oct 11, 2006 10:04 am

Lawrence wrote:
Laurentius wrote:A stupid question, but what does FWP mean? is this some arcane tasters acronym that only gets revealed to the inner circle???


It means "French Whores Perfume" and is evident by a high violet/toilet/urinal block taste in the whisky. It can be over powering. Many have made note of it however there are quite a few on this forum who deny its existence.

I have experienced it several times from one particular distillery and have no doubt. It's not a good thing.

Lawrence


You better show him the handshake now Lawrence.
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