Don’t worry – Compass Box is still producing amazing whiskies. But the times, they are a’changin, and so are the laws.
Below is the official word from Compass Box.
Compass Box Whisky Co. is to take a lead in the educational drive around the new laws on Scotch whisky that come into force from Wednesday 23rd November 2011.
To mark the occasion, Compass Box will release a limited edition bottling, the Last Vatted Malt, made from a marriage of fine, old single malt whiskies from Islay and Speyside distilleries, that will be the last whisky to be labelled legally as a Vatted Malt.
As Compass Box founder and whiskymaker John Glaser explains: “At midnight on November 22nd, 2011, an era ends. After that point, it will be illegal for whiskymakers to use the term Vatted Malt to describe a Scotch whisky made from the combination of two or more single malts. From 23rd November 2011, this style of whisky will by law have to be labelled as a Blended Malt Scotch Whisky. Vatted Malt is a term that has been in use since at least the 19th century. It represents a style of whisky in which Compass Box specialise, so it has special meaning for us. Therefore we have decided to take a lead in the education of whisky drinkers about the new legal definitions of the 5 styles of Scotch whisky. We feel that this is an important change to the law that needs to be explained to whisky lovers. As the new laws come into effect, we want to take this opportunity to educate, to look to the future and to help the industry as a whole.”
The new legislation is all encompassing and was introduced by the UK Parliament as The Scotch Whisky Regulations in 2009. However, the five new legal definitions of Scotch whisky styles, as well as some other areas, will become enforceable by law from 23rd November 2011. The new definitions will be:
Blended Scotch Whisky: a blend of one or more Single Malt Scotch Whiskies with one or more Single Grain Scotch Whiskies.
Blended Malt Scotch Whisky: a blend of two or more Single Malt Scotch Whiskies that have been distilled at more than one distillery. (previously known as Vatted Malt or Pure Malt Scotch Whisky)
Blended Grain Scotch Whisky: a blend of two or more Single Grain Scotch Whiskies that have been distilled at more than one distillery. (previously known as Vatted Grain Scotch Whisky)
Single Malt Scotch Whisky: a Scotch Whisky that has been distilled in pot stills in one or more batches at a single distillery from water and malted barley, without the addition of any other cereals.
Single Grain Scotch Whisky: a Scotch Whisky that has been distilled at a single distillery except Single Malt Scotch Whisky or a Blended Scotch Whisky.
Full details can be read here: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2009/2890/introduction/made
Commemorating this transition into a new era, The Last Vatted Malt Limited Edition from Compass Box will be on sale from 23rd November 2011 onwards at www.compassboxwhisky.com and from whisky retailers. It will be bottled at cask strength, and each bottle will be personally signed by John Glaser. Only 1323 bottles will be produced. The recommended retail price will be £175.00 per 70cl bottle.
Compass Box will organise a number of activities through November to help promote awareness of the new laws, supported by a programme of communication on Facebook, Twitter and by email. These will include:
- A Twitter Q&A with John Glaser @CompassBox at 8pm GMT on Tues 15th November
- The Compass Box potted guide to all you need to know about the new Scotch Whisky laws at www.facebook.com/CompassBox
- Last Vatted Malt Day on Tues 22nd November encouraging whisky fans worldwide to bid adieu to Vatted Malt by raising a glass wherever they are.
- A ceremonial bottling of the last bottle of Vatted Malt at a mystery location in Central London by John Glaser at 11.59 on the night of Tues 22nd November – accompanied by a select Vatted Malt flash mob.
ABOUT THE LAST VATTED MALT
“The Last Vatted Malt is a testament to the high merit of blending single malts—to create a whisky flavour profile that no single distillery can produce. This whisky combines intense aromas and flavours of dried fruits and maltiness underscored by a subtle, sweet smokiness, all robed in the revealing signs of whiskies of antiquity. It is composed of two single malts: approximately 22% of the recipe is whisky distilled at the younger of the two distilleries in the village of Aberlour in 1974 (36 years-old), aged in a first fill sherry butt. The balance is from the famed distillery in the village of Port Askaig on Islay, made in 1984 (26 years-old), aged in an American oak hogshead.” – John Glaser, Whiskymaker
ABOUT COMPASS BOX (www.compassboxwhisky.com)
The Compass Box Whisky Company is a boutique Scotch whiskymaker and craft blender, started in 2000 by John Glaser. Compass Box produces and bottles a range of Scotch whiskies, available in over 25 countries around the world. A four-time winner of the Whisky Magazine Innovator of the Year award, Compass Box is known throughout the whisky world for quality, innovation and passion for great whisky. The Compass Box signature range of whiskies includes Asyla, Oak Cross, The Peat Monster, The Spice Tree and Hedonism. They also produce limited release whiskies annually, and Orangerie, a Scotch whisky infusion.
ABOUT JOHN GLASER
American ex-pat John Glaser started Compass Box Whisky Company from the kitchen of his west London home in 2000. Having started his career on a path to become a winemaker, then re-routing himself through the corporate world and ending up as marketing director for Johnnie Walker in London, Glaser has a unique perspective on both the creation and the marketing of Scotch whisky.
Glaser established Compass Box based on his commitment to evolving practices in the industry to make great Scotch whisky more approachable and relevant to more people. From the beginning, his vision has been to create one of Scotland’s finest and most exciting whisky companies, re-establishing the standards for quality and style in the industry.