Review: Compass Box Flaming Heart

A day late for Valentines, I still chose to give a love themed twist to today’s Whisky Wednesday. And for that purpose, I chose the 2022 version of the Compass Box Flaming Heart for this review. Where I was a day late for Valentine’s Day… the shop I bought this sample at made a typo on the label, spelling this dram as the “Flamming Heart”. Perhaps it all seems to go a bit unlucky for my Valentine’s Day blog. But my actual Valentine’s Day was spent well with my fiancée, who showed me once again how lucky I am in love.

The 2022 version of Flaming Heart is Compass Box their 7th edition of the bottling. And it’s been inspired by rock songs. In fact, they even made a Spotify playlist to accompany you while sipping this dram. In their own words this 2022 edition revels in the harmonies between heavy peat and toasted French oak. Which sounds like it would be just my cup of tea, let’s find out if it holds true!

Tasting Notes: Compass Box Flaming Heart 2022
Stats:

ABV: 48,9% (97,8 proof)

Age: NAS

Bottled by: Compass Box

Category: Blended Malt Scotch Whisky

Awards:

Chill-Filtered: No

Natural Colour: Yes

Setting:

I’ve put the Flaming Heart playlist on in the background, put my feet up with both dogs cuddled up against me on the couch, and I’ve poured the sample neat into my Glencairn. Ready to find out what magic in a bottle James Saxon has managed to create in this years iteration of the Compass Box Flaming Heart!

Nose:

The first thing that comes to mind is salted liquorice. Specifically little salted fish liquorice. There’s some salmiak powder in there as well. And those two flavours combined really start to take me back in time to my grandparents old home, where my grandfather always had a little bowl of assorted salted liquorice on the coffee table. There’s an ever so slight medicinal note in here as well, as I’m picking up on hints of iodine. But it’s more subtle than the overwhelming presence I’m used to from the Islay boys. I’m getting some smouldering bbq coals as well, and even little sparks of bacon drippings and lemon wedges shine through. Water dulls the nose quite a bit, and for me it focusses the dram entirely on its liquorice notes.

Palate:

This dram has a palate that actually made me put the laptop away, turn the music down, and enjoy it in quiet for a while. It is that good! Some of the liquorice notes shine through on the palate, but there’s so much more to it. I’m getting dark chocolate brownies, salted caramel fudge, and candied orange peel amongst others. And then there’s the peat, the beautifully thick layered on peat that’s both heavy and well-balanced at the same time. Images of peppered steak and fresh baked bacon with maple drizzling is what comes to mind now. And it just keeps evolving, as I also start to pick up on some fruity notes such as pineapple, passionfruit and mango. Water brings forth a lot of sweetness, and the fruitier aspects get enhanced as well. The pineapple from before turns into the syrup from its canned variant.

Finish:

The finish is long and filled with bold flavours. Heavier notes of tar and smouldering bricks of charcoal covered in drippings from the bbq, blend beautifully with the sweeter notes of honey, vanilla, and maple syrup. Some of the pineapple from the palate shines through into finish as well, which reminds me of my favourite bbq dessert. Roasted pineapple, drizzled with honey and with some vanilla ice cream to the side. Absolute bliss! Water makes the finish a bit shorter and much sweeter. I liked it much better without.

Verdict:

What a flabergastingly amazing dram this is! I am absolutely blown away by it. The combination of sweet and peat works so wonderfully here that it’s like a symphony being played out on your tongue. Pour this for me any day! The only downside to this dram is its price tag. You’ll spend at least 150 euro for a bottle around here, and while I do think it’s worth every penny it does mean this one would be a very special occasion pick up for me.

And since I don’t have one of those coming up I will have to pass on buying myself a bottle, though I did look it up again while writing this review because the thought of buying one is tempting me a lot. Perhaps I will have to blink my lashes extra enticingly at my fiancée for next Valentine’s Day… All joking aside though; this Compass Box Flaming Heart 2022 is an absolute gem!

Rating:

94/100

Value:

B

Click here to learn more about how I come up with my tasting notes. And how I determine rating and value.

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