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Compass Box Flaming Heart Scotch Whisky

A blend of Highlands, Islay and Island single malts, only 9,147 bottles of this Scotch have ever been made.

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"This is a whisky inspired by a rock song," says John Glaser, founder of Compass Box Whisky Co. "Rock music has long been associated with rebellion against societal norms and our humble company has been associated — for better or for worse — with a reaction against the "˜traditions' of Scotch whisky production. We like to think of our approach as reflecting a craft ethos — making whisky better for the sake of it."

The Fourth Limited Edition of Flaming Heart Scotch Whisky is a blend of single malt whiskies from distilleries located in the Northern Highlands, Islay, Speyside and the Islands. "With this edition, we worked hard to maintain the style of the popular 2010 version," says Glaser, referring to the third Limited Edition of Flaming Heart which launched nearly three years ago, "but added slightly more complexity."

Flaming Heart Scotch Whisky is a blend of two-thirds Highlands single malts (primarily from the village of Brora), which contribute fruitiness and perfume to the blend, together with one-third Islay and Island single malts (primarily from the south shore of Islay), which contribute peaty, smoky flavors to the whisky.

The whiskies are matured in a combination of used American bourbon casks, used sherry casks and new, heavily-toasted French oak casks. As a result, the whisky has notes of dried fruits and vanilla, which are nicely balanced by hints of smoke and spice. "This is really one of our whiskies I am most proud of," says Glaser. "Because there is, to our knowledge, no other Scotch whisky like it. No other that combines peat smoke and sweetness like this."

After the single malts are blended, the whisky is non-chill filtered and bottled at nearly 100 proof behind a label illustrated by Alex Machin, a London-based artist. Only 9,147 bottles of this whisky have ever been produced, only half of which were allocated to the United States market. Much like a rock song, this is a whisky born of fire, but with a big heart.

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Vibrant, with notes of dried fruits, vanilla and caramel that are nicely balanced by hints of spice (particularly cloves) and peaty smoke. Lesser notes of toasted almonds and nuts.

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