Compass Box Week, Day 2: Asyla

Since I’ve mentioned Compass Box so frequently and copiously referenced them in the blends article, I’ve decided to take a couple days to look at the various offerings from Compass Box. Last time I looked at Hedonism, a blend of grain-only whiskies. Today it’s Asyla (from the older, less art-deco-inspired box), which is a “Blended Scotch Whisky”: a blend of malt and grain whiskies from different distilleries. Compass Box says it’s made with 50% malt and from first fill American oak barrels, which push us toward a lighter whisky.

And bottled at 40%, it’s definitely light.

Compass Box Asyla, 40% ABV
Nose:  Light, with a nice mix of floral fragrance and gentle vanilla. Faintest tickle of white pepper. Light honey, but fairly thin and a touch watery. Becomes a little more overtly fruity in a Balblair direction with some air.
Palate:  Woody and slightly bitter initially, with a touch of young wood; develops into a little maltiness with some faint chili oil, still that green wood note. A bit of a straight alcohol note too.
Finish:  Vanilla and some pepper, a little bit of wood.
Comment:  It’s not bad at all. But it’s so vanishingly light and balanced with an odd heat that it’s kind of… well.. ho-hum.
Rating: C+

I’ve had Compass Box whiskies I’ve liked; Asyla, generally speaking, isn’t really one of them. It’s just a little too light. Maybe it’s great as a mixer or for the served-cold set, but I think we’ve long established that isn’t really the territory covered here. As a summer whisky and an aperitif it could work though, but it’s going to be quite light.

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