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  • Writer's pictureHinton Magazine

Compass Box Introduce The Peat Monster Cask Strength: Origin Story

The whiskymakers celebrate the smoky blended malt Scotch with a 20th anniversary limited-edition release.

Scotch whiskymakers Compass Box celebrates the 20th Anniversary of one of its most popular expressions with a limited-edition, blended malt Scotch whisky; The Peat Monster Cask Strength: Origin Story (RRP £105, ABV 56.7%).

The latest release from the award-winning Scotch whiskymakers will see 9,126 bottles available worldwide. The new Cask Strength bottle celebrates the origin story of The Peat Monster, which was first created thanks to Jonathan Goldstein of Park Avenue Liquors joining forces with Compass Box founder John Glaser for an exclusive release in 2003. The heavily peated whisky was so successful that it was released to the worldwide market in 2004 and has gone on to become one of Compass Box’s most popular expressions.

Today, The Peat Monster Cask Strength: Origin Story is comprised of Williamson Islay Malt, aged in refill American oak hogsheads (35%); malt whisky from the Caol Ila Distillery, aged in refill American oak hogsheads (34.2%), American oak bourbon barrels (17.9%), and refill puncheons (11.8%); and Highland Malt Blend aged in custom French oak barrels with a heavy toast (1.1%).

The resulting blend boasts “big blasts of smoke, cinnamon and tobacco notes,” according to the whiskymaking team. On the nose, find sooty barbecue smoke, green apple and powerfully aromatic citrus oils, all underpinned by warming cinnamon (the higher ABV heightens this expressiveness). On the palate, enjoy tarry, smoked almond, with the seasoned virgin oak delivering added richness and vanilla notes, plus seaweed, cayenne pepper and saltiness.

Compass Box further celebrates The Peat Monster’s U.S roots by recognising American coopers through a partial finishing of this blend, putting around half of the whisky in special barrels made from American white oak for three-to-four months. These grain-seasoned casks, created by the independent Stave Company, have been air-dried for two years and toasted using a highly technical process before being sent to Scotland and filled with grain spirit for one year.

Another nod to The Peat Monster’s American origin story appears on the label, which was designed by acclaimed American artist, Mark Burckhardt, featuring Dali-esque depictions of the monster against skyscrapers, subway steam grates belching smoke, and a hint of Central Park.

“It's always been our mission at Compass Box to create compelling whiskies, even if it means breaking moulds – or creating new ones!” says Compass Box whiskymaker and founder John Glaser. “Thanks to the early collaboration with Jonathan Goldstein, we created a quintessential peated whisky that has gone on to become one of our core expressions, still beloved by whisky drinkers two decades later and one that we’re proud to be celebrating with this Cask Strength Limited Edition”.

Curious whisky lovers can find out more about The Peat Monster Cask Strength and other Compass Box whiskies at or follow @compassboxwhiskyco on Instagram.


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