In 2001, Compass Box created their first single malt blend which they called Eleuthera. It was an elegant and simple blend of approximately 80% unpeated Highland and 20% peaty Islay single malts. Alas, after 3 years, they were suddenly no longer able to obtain one of the key whiskies required for the recipe so, sadly, they retired Eleuthera in 2004. Quietly, they have always been looking for whiskies that we could use to bring it back, even if temporarily, but not with any luck. Until now.
I’ve had a name that I’ve been waiting to use for a whisky project like this—The Lost Blend, inspired by the O. Henry story of the same name. This sharp and witty portrait of life in a New York bar in the early 1900s was published in 1907 and centres around two business partners who try to recreate a blend of different spirits with close to supernatural properties.
Having been blending Scotch whiskies as an amateur and a professional for the better part of 20 years, I can say with confidence that I believe there exist “magic” combinations of whiskies. For me, they are like the whisky blending equivalent of spiritual truths. And what better name to lend to our lost blend, but “The Lost Blend”!
John Glaser, Whiskymaker.
Availability: A limited edition of 12,018 bottles. Bottled in August 2014.
Flavour Descriptors: An elegantly complex union of two fruity Highland single malts and a peaty Islay single malt. An ethereal fruit and herbal character and a sweetness on the palate is buttressed by an underlying smokiness.
Distillery Sourcing: Single malt whisky (of a certain age) from the Clynelish distillery, and a small cache of extraordinary whisky from the Allt-A-Bhainne distillery, aged in American oak barrels and just a few years shy of two decades old, combined with malt whisky from the Caol Ila distillery.
The Labels: Compass Box have created three different front label designs all around the same theme: lost items. The whisky behind each label is the same, and the three labels have been randomly bottled and put into cases, which allows you an additional discovery to the whisky itself: which label did I get?
Ratings: 95.5 Points and Scotch Vatted Malt of the Year / Jim Murray's 2016 Whisky Bible.