Review: Great King St - Glasgow Blend

Compass Box – Great King St: Glasgow Blend

Compass Box’s second Great King St. expression – the Glasgow Blend – was the result of a crowdsource-style public taste-off between two “experimental” blends back in 2013. They picked the one with the most votes from all over the world, and put the lucky recipe to good use in yet another gorgeous lineart decorated bottle. Meanwhile, the whisky megacorporates looked on in hatred and bitter resentment. (But were clearly taking notes – Johnnie Walker has recently begun unveiling “experimental” whiskies to try style themselves as craft, hipster whiskymakers.)

The Glasgow Blend is claimed to have an even higher malt proportion than its Artistic little brother, with some peat and sherry thrown in for good measure. Drink time!

  • Colour:

A lightly ruby-tinged amber.

  • Nose:

Rich, rich, rich. I challenge anyone to distinguish this from a single malt at first or second sniff. The waxy Clynelish is all but gone, and replaced with red fruit (sherry) and a solid whiff of peat (17% of this blend is from Laphroaig). It’s plenty salty, with only the barest hint of that bread ’n butter quality I get from decent blends.

  • Taste:

Just… fantastic. The sherry is clear but not overpowering, allowing you to taste the malt and the oaky casks (vanilla, almonds). Likewise it’s got a very mild, campfire smokiness that both peat-heads and peat-deniers will enjoy. Mince pies, raisins, a little coconut and some citrus zest. A mashup of a bunch of what might typically be considered “competing flavours”, but handled with absolute style and precision – it just works. A truly exceptional example of the art of blending! Sharp at 43%, yes yes yes. The finish is moderate, peaty and fairly fiery on the tongue.

  • Water:

Like the Artist’s Blend, the Glasgow Blend holds water very well, although in this case the peat suffers somewhat. Less mixable than its little brother, but less reason to want to!

Review: Great King St - Glasgow Blend

Review: Great King St - Glasgow Blend


One of the best blends I’ve ever had, right up there with older and more interesting expressions from mainstream brands. Easy and tasty enough to qualify as a mildly peaty everyday dram, much like a Talisker or a Highland Park. While pricey, its an absolutely quality drink, and well worth demolishing a bottle every now and again!

Compass Box – Great King St: Glasgow Blend
Quality: Excellent
Price: Reasonable
See my rating guide here

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