The first edition of this bottle, released in 2005, used toasted French oak staves during the aging. But this was considered too radical by the Scotch Whisky Association, and the company was required to cease production.
Not ones to back down from a challenge, they innovated a new cask with toasted French oak heads coopered on to them, which mirrors the flavor profile of the first version, to the delight of Scotch enthusiasts everywhere.
The Spice Tree consists of individual single malts without any additional grain spirits in the blend. Specifically, it marries 20% Teaninich single malt, 20% Dailuaine, and 60% Clynelish, each of them quite well-regarded single malts in their own right. The whiskies are vatted prior to additional maturation totaling an extra two years in what Compass Box refers to as “highly active hybrid barrels.”
25% of the portion of the blend is dedicated to vanilla toast casks. 22% ages in an infrared toast cask. 32% ages the additional two years in a mocha toast cask, and the final 21% is aged in first fill standard American barrels which imparts additional fruit notes.
They carefully blend the batches using various levels of toast and without all of the whisky touching the new oak heads, as new oak tends to create overly-wooded whisky. No added coloring or chill-filtration as a matter of principle.
It all adds up to a spicy, delicious, not-to-be-missed blended malt Scotch Whisky.