Compass Box Asyla Review

Compass Box Asyla Review

Compass Box Asyla is a blend made with 50% malt whisky making Asyla on the high side of the blended whisky realm (most blends are around 20% malt). From what I can tell they get most, if not all, of the malt whisky for this blend from Longhorn and Teaninich with the grain coming from Cameronbridge. They only use first-fill ex-Bourbon casks which means they get whisky that carries more of that vanilla and caramel bourbon character with it. Which is a good way to inject a lighter whisky with some much needed flavor, but it doesn’t seem like they quite had it dialed in with this older batch.

That’s right, this is one of the first bottles of Asyla to hit the market and of the range of old Compass Box whiskies we tried at a club tasting this was my least favorite of the bunch. I have however had one of the newer batches recently and it’s definitely improved, but I still wouldn’t rate it above a B-… maybe a low B at best. It’s light, fruity and tasty, but it has a very limited depth and doesn’t come off as my kind of whisky.

Compass Box Asyla Info

Region: Scotland

Blender & Bottler: Compass Box
Cask: ex-Bourbon
Age: NAS
ABV: 40%

Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color

Price: $45

Compass Box Asyla Review

EYE
Light amber

NOSE
A muted light nose. Even after adding a few drops of water and leaving the lid on the Glencairn it was difficult to pick up anything solid and what came through were mere layers of impressions. First layer was a musty dusty quality, then some earthiness came through followed by some sweetness and something I can only describe as Sprite mixed with Honeycomb cereal.

PALATE
Has a slightly bolder flavor, but not by much. Light notes of malt, stale crackers, citrus, overripe bananas and mild spice followed by a sulfery sweetness that’s like combining Craigellachie with Glenmorangie.

FINISH
Short and light like everything else with quick notes of wood, Sprite, spice and stale malt.

BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
So light it’s hard to tell, but what does come across feels all over the place. Light thin body with a watery texture.

OVERALL
Compass Box Asyla gotten MUCH better than this over the years so don’t take this review as any sort of inditement on them. They put out some damn good whisky and we even had some at this same tasting, but this was not one of the shining moments. This initial batch was so light and ethereal it was like going to Jose Andres’ Bazaar and ordering all of his foams. You get hints and impressions but nothing substantial.

SCORE: 73-76/100 (Range due to a single glass & not tasting at home)

Compass Box Asyla Review - Score Breakdown
  • Nose - 73
  • Palate - 73
  • Finish - 73
  • Balance, Body & Feel - 73

Value

If it’s a newer bottling of the Compass Box Asyla it’s not a bad whisky at all and would be a decent deal if you’re looking for something light and subtle. If it’s an old label like this one I’d take a pass.

Compass Box Asyla Label

 

Josh Peters
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Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters
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