Compass Box produces a number of Limited Editions each annum — some are very rare releases of a few hundred bottles, while others amount to several thousand bottles. But each of its Scottish whiskies carries its own unique identity and are designed to make the world of whisky exciting and innovative. The first of 2022 is Vellichor…
A Whisky Inspired By Old Book Shops
The brand has created a whole new word for this expression. ‘Vellichor’ describes the fragrance and nostalgia of the kinds of old tomes found within second-hand bookshops. This theme is evident in all elements of the bottle. Its artwork has been inspired by aged, well-used paper, with shades of brown and yellow used to emulate the age of the whisky’s components.
Rare sherry-matured blends combine with malt whiskies from the sought-after Highland Park Distillery and a 23-year-old blend from the Macallan distillery, along with a touch of very old whisky from the Caol Ila Distillery, to create the character of Vellichor. Few blends feature whisky from the Macallan and Highland Park Distilleries (in fact the dustily smoky and tropically fruity nature of the latter’s casks served as inspiration for the new release).
A Scent Made From Stories
A complex aroma has been created to transport the recipient (via olfactory means) into a library of old books. Compass Box whiskymaker and founder, John Glaser and Compass Box whiskymaker, James Saxon studied literature and having spent many hours in densely packed libraries, were keen to invent a new liquor that would evoke this atmosphere. Saxon says of the new adventure:
“To us, Vellichor starts with a word and an emotion: the experience of being in a second-hand bookshop and being enveloped by its aroma. We scoured Scotland for the volumes we needed to express this, eventually discovering two parcels of Scotch whisky from a distiller and bottler in Speyside. Both were blends that had been aged further in Sherry casks and were more than two decades old. These are some of our favourite whiskies to work with and we have capitalised on such discoveries before with previous Limited Editions including The General and The Circus. Refining the very specific aromas of old books with whisky has been a moving process for us.”
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American ex-pat John Glaser started Compass Box from the kitchen of his west London home in 2000. Since then he’s been Whisky Magazine Innovator of the Year six times over and was named 2020 Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame Inductee. Now Compass Box now has two blending rooms in London, with a team of 20 international staff.
The brand has a range of high-profile collabs under its belt and coined the term ‘whiskymaker’. Pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the world of whisky, the team’s propensity for experimentation has won them more awards for innovation than any other producer in Scotland. Compelling and surprising, with blends consistently rated equal to or better than the great single malts of Scotland, these are whiskies to be experienced.
Vellichor is now available with a RRP of £400 and an ABV of 44.6%, with just 3,246 bottles available worldwide via compassboxwhisky.com.