Noted independent blender and bottler Compass Box has re-released The Double Single, a blended Scotch whisky expression. Commenting on the release, Compass Box Founder & Whiskymaker John Glaser opens by posing a question:
“How many components are required to create true complexity in a Blended Scotch Whisky? For Double Single, instead of using many tens of component whiskies we have used just two – one single grain whisky and one single malt whisky, hence the name. Both are beautiful liquids in their own right, but the way we’ve combined them in Double Single, the resulting whisky is an elevation above the mere sum of their parts. This is what blending is all about, whether in Scotch whisky, in wine, in perfume… .”
Originally created as a limited edition in 2003 for Duncan Elphick and Tatsuya Minagawa of the Highlander Inn, this Double Single release marks the third edition. As Glaser tells the story: “Tatsuya and Duncan came to me many years ago with a blending idea. They suggested I try to perfectly match one single grain whisky with one single malt whisky, to create what they called a ‘Double Single.’ I loved the idea, and our first two editions have become something of a cult favorite. We recently got hold of some beautiful old single malt whisky from the Glen Elgin distillery, so we decided the time was right to create a new edition.”
When two whiskies are perfectly matched, the complementary flavors provide a depth that the single malt alone does not. On the other hand, the simplicity of the blend provides a purity of flavor that blends with more components do not. The blending of the two component whiskies in The Double Single allows the sweet caramel flavors of the grain whisky to complement the fruity and herbal flavours of the malt, giving the final blend a creamy vanilla character overlaying a delicate ethereal malt whisky character.
Elaborating on the components used and the character of the finished liquid, Glaser said:
‘For this batch we’ve used single malt whisky from the Glen Elgin distillery (72% of the recipe) aged in re-charred Bourbon Hogsheads and a single grain whisky from the Girvan distillery also aged in re-charred Bourbon barrels. The combination is hauntingly complex, spirit-forward and versatile Scotch whisky, with a real elegance, grace and that ethereal whisky character that comes from excellent maturation. The malt whisky is perfectly balanced on a cushion of rich, decadent, vanilla-tinged grain whisky.’
Bottled at 46% ABV, a total of 5,838 bottles of The Double Single will be released worldwide – launching first in Europe where it will be available in select specialty retailers from 1st May 2017 and in the US from 1st June 2017 at £150 / $175 SRP.