Updated January 5, 2016
By Richard Thomas
The Flaming Heart series dates back a decade now, and represented a major step forward for its makers, the artisan blenders and bottlers at Compass Box. In 2006 it was a groundbreaking blend of whisky aged in new French oak and peaty Islay malt, and they have released a new installment of Flaming Heart every few years (such as the 2012 installment). In this instance, the 2015 Flaming Heart coincides with Compass Box’s 15th anniversary.
Bottled at 48.9% abv and in a production run of 12,060 bottles, and in the glass it has the appearance of white wine. The nose is on where fruits stewed in cinnamon and ginger are overlaid with a layer of ash. On the palate, the buttery texture of the liquid conveys a rich concoction of butterscotch, spices and earthy creosote.
Now, with that big body and contrast, on might expect a huge finish, but not here. It’s a modest affair, departing on a sandalwood note and leaving only light warmth.
This fourth edition of Flaming Heart is already sold out with many vendors in the UK and Europe, but is still generally available in the U.S. at the time of publication. In the UK it is priced at £100, and in the U.S. at $90.