13 September 2012

Compass Box Flaming Heart 2012 "Hot Rocking"

Originally inspired by a rock song and now in its fourth incarnation, I’m happy to report that the latest release of Compass Box’s Flaming Heart, is still unadulteratedly rock and dramming roll all the way.

Oh yes those unique boutique champions of craft headed up by John Glaser (the undisputed Willy Wonka of whisky) have yet again proved that there’s very much proof in the pudding or indeed the whisky, that good things come to those who wait.

After a gaping void of nearly two years since the last Flaming Heart bottling in the form of the 10th Anniversary Edition, I was absolutely thrilled to hear that there would be another release for 2012. Not only that but I was chuffed to bits to be one of the first people to try it as part of our Compass Box Tweet Tasting back in August.

The nose kicks off with a cocky coastal wave and all the sooty embers from a bonfire used to burn fallen autumn leaves and a stash of old newspapers. But it’s not long before smoke plumes take over the proceedings and have a go at juggling blackberries, pears and a cavalcade of citrus delights.

Chocolate salted caramels drizzled with a drop of charcoal infused sherry vinegar and a droplet of iodine make for the next set of sensations, along with a wealth of wood spice, a barrage of black pepper and a strip of old garden turf that’s seen a few too many days in the sun.

A wanton wave of voluptuous vanilla then flows its way into the proceedings and cordially helps to balance things out just fabulously. Allowing those lighter fruitier notes to shine in their own light, and enhancing the depth and purpose of those wood spice notes.

The palate kicks off with an immediate trouncing of freshly laid tarmac. The good old fashioned stuff that would clear out your sinuses if you walked past as it was being poured onto the road.

A small shot of espresso and a dainty cup of English tea with an added slice of lemon make for the next set of pleasurable palatable protuberances, along with more of those chocolate salted caramels and a bowl of stewed stoned fruits covered in a teasing dollop of rich vanilla custard.

Bold bursts of wood spice and a heaving hit of smoke from that aforementioned bonfire then help to define the palate just beautifully, as does a teasing lick of liquorice and pinches of both white and black pepper.

If the nosing and tasting notes of this dram were songs from your favourite rock band, then the finish would have to be an album of their greatest hits played on a loop. Continuing to rock and rollick its wares on the palate for as long as the night lasts or until you demand a reprise and pour yourself another.