Scottish whisky distiller Compass Box has announced the launch of its Limited Edition Magic Cask Blended Malt Scotch Whisky, available this month in the UK and globally in the new year.

In 2016, Compass Box re-racked one-year-old malt spirit of robust character into first fill Oloroso-seasoned butts. In 2019, the distiller decided to combine one particular cask – #2 – with a whisky from the now closed Imperial Distillery to create Magic Cask. The much younger malt whisky from the Oloroso-seasoned cask proved the ideal means to deepen the fruity and creamy profile of the rare parcel.

Developed by Lead Whiskymaker James Saxon, the limited edition blend boasts aromas of marmalade and chai tea spices, with hints of plum. Ripe golden dessert apples dominate the luscious palate, supported by an oaky richness, in addition to flavours of toffee and cocoa powder.

“We have had samples of whisky from the lost Imperial Distillery in our Blending Room for some time,” reveals whisky maker James Saxon. “Aged in first fill Bourbon barrels, the spirit is brimming with fruit and vanilla notes and exhibits a lovely tongue-clinging texture.”

Saxon continues: “However, finding the right project and accompaniments to this parcel of single malt proved a challenge. Then, last year, we discovered cask #2 amongst samples drawn from our 2016 Sherry cask maturation experiment.

“Full to the brim with cherry fruit and cedar spice character, it was a remarkably precocious whisky. When combined with the parcel from the lost distillery, it created an exceptionally rich and layered blended malt Scotch whisky.”

The 46% ABV Magic Cask joins limited edition whiskies Hedonism Felicitas, Rogues’ Banquet and Peat Monster Arcana, which were released globally to celebrate Compass Box’s 20th anniversary this year.

“Sometimes just one cask in a blend of many can provide the touch of magic that allows the whole arrangement to sing,” Compass Box Founder and Whiskymaker John Glaser says. “We first took advantage of this phenomenon in 2006 when an experimental whisky, finished in an ex-Madeira barrique, led to the limited edition bottling we called Magic Cask.”

He adds: “In 2021, we’re delighted to be able to share with you again the magical influence one exceptional cask – a Sherry-seasoned cask in this case – can have on a recipe.”

Founded in 2000, John Glaser started Compass Box based on the long-lost model of the Scotch whisky blending house, but with a forward-looking approach and an unrelenting desire to create quality. Two decades later, Compass Box now has two blending rooms in London, a team of 20 working internationally and stocks of maturing whiskies in Scotland.