Compass Box "Orchard House" Blended Scotch Malt Whisky (750ml)

SKU #1567247 Whisky Advocate

Outer quote mark A whiff of mealy, floury apples, pear, candied lemon peel, and fruit teas, this is certainly light and fruity, genteel even, yet a little timid overall. Soothing and creamy to drink, there's poached pears in condensed milk, white grape, a slow-paced crescendo of spice, and a dash of tangy citrus peel, followed by canned pears and a whir of spices on the finish. Carefree whisky for happy-go-lucky drinkers. (JM, Winter-2021) Inner quote mark

K&L Notes

Few things in the whiskey world are as exciting as a new addition to the Compass Box core lineup. Known for phenomenal, creative blends and exceptional value, the Compass Box team has knocked it out of the park with Orchard House. This essentially replaces the old Oak Cross that was discontinued several years ago, but it's a completely different whisky all together. It's 100% malt whisky, selected from distilleries known for their fruitiness. Lively and fragrant with a gentle oak influence, Orchard House was greatly influence by the late Dr. Jim Swan. His research inspired CB to fill their barrels at 58% ABV instead of the nearly ubiquitous 63.5% ABV, common in Scotland. This lower proof filling actually extracts more sugar from the wood than the higher proof fill. It also allows for less dilution of the aged spirit when bottling below cask strength. Two-thirds of the Orchard House blend is derived from these 58% fill casks, adding more creamy vanilla, sweet citrus and stone fruit components. Orchard House also features the effects of a changing barrel market. These are somewhat like 1.5 fill barrels. It is now standard practice in the bourbon world to rinse down freshly emptied barrels with water. This allows for the maximum alcohol yield before final blending and bottling. It also takes a bit of the rougher edge off the oak for Scotch maturation. This change in practice has lead to a serendipitously gentler aging of Orchard House that really allows the CB team to shine.


Price: $49.99

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Product Reviews:

By: Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/21/2021 | Send Email
Compass Box strikes again. It was a devastating loss when Oak Cross went away from their core lineup, but the gaping hole that was left behind has finally been filled. Orchard House delivers the goods - a bushel full of them. The whisky has been purpose driven since being laid down in barrel to showcase the incredible fruit profile of the distillery components. It's a blended malt that highlights all of the beautiful ripe fruits in the pantheon of Scotch flavors. It's branches sit heavy with apples of every shade, stone fruit from succulent apricots and peaches to candied nectarines. Ripe pear abounds. It's truly incredible. All that fruit however - is still grounded by a full and complete whisky. This is where Compass Box really shines. Their mission is to build a whisky that is more than the sum of its parts. In a classic 1+1=3 magic trick they've paired all that fruit with ex-Oloroso sherry butts and their custom French oak barrels for a robust palate with more than a sprinkle of spice. Cinnamon and nutmeg, a touch of ground black pepper, rancio complexity in just enough force to be the perfect touch - like that extra pinch of salt from a chef. Vanilla and honey pair perfectly with the malty goodness that is of course the foundation for any Scotch. It's a masterpiece at a bargain price and fully deserving of a prominent spot in the core lineup of Compass Box.

By: Neal Fischer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/6/2021 | Send Email
Such a beautiful and inviting Scotch! As soon as you pour a dram of this, you can tell that you're in the company of a friend. True to it's name, Compass Box's new blended malt, Orchard House, is redolent of multiple orchard fruit aromas. Apple, pear, peach, and cherry step to the front of the line. When nosing this, from time to time it almost smells like Calvados, though never fully giving up its base cereal notes. Whipped buttercream floats through, cut by just enough spice (one of the contributions of Clynelish in the blend, I'm guessing). The palate keeps playing with the fruit and ups the ante with a bright citrus pop, though they are certainly grounded by earthy and leathery flavors providing excellent balance. I hear that Orchard House will be replacing Oak Cross in Compass Box's core lineup, so while I was sad to see Oak Cross go, I'm pleased that it's being replaced by this absolute stunner of a blended malt.

By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/2/2021 | Send Email
I would have bought this whisky at double the price. This offering from Compass Box is one of my biggest surprises of 2021, so much gentle fruit, deftly balanced with concentrated, natural malt and subtle rancio complexity. This is so much better than most single malt at the price and my favorite new release in many years. This is seamless and involved stuff!

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