SOURCE: Compass Box

July 14, 2005 10:07 ET

A Rennaisance in Scotch Whisky: Compass Box Celebrates 5 Years of Shaking Up the Once-Staid Industry

London-Based American and Company Founder, John Glaser, Raises a Glass to Connoisseurs and Newcomers

LONDON -- (MARKET WIRE) -- July 14, 2005 -- In an effort to erase the stigma of Scotch whisky as old fashioned and impenetrable, and to make it a top drink choice of the 21st century, Compass Box Whisky began breaking the rules of the Scotch category five years ago. Today, as the company celebrates its fifth birthday, they lead a Scotch whisky renaissance, which is seeing increased demand for high-end Scotches matched by an increasing array of offerings that take more modern approaches. Also this week, the acclaimed Beverage Testing Institute of Chicago announced Compass Box "Peat Monster" and "Asyla" as Gold Medal recipients for the 2005 International Review of Spirits.

Everything about this premier, boutique whisky blender challenges the industry's conventional thinking:

--  Their whiskies have appealing and contemporary styles and flavours;
--  They create boutique, small batch blends that rival single malts in
--  The packaging is sleek, stylish and contemporary;
--  They utilize clever, proprietary names;
--  The whiskies are bottled at their appealing natural colour;
--  And each bottle includes a personal note from John Glaser.
Today, many of these methods are starting to be picked up by even the big drinks companies, as they see the progress Compass Box has made and try to catch up.

John Glaser established Compass Box as a result of a personal passion for Scotch and also a belief that he knew what people wanted but been unable to get: namely, great tasting Scotch whiskies made with the passion and sincerity of a small company. From the days when he was a one-man operation experimenting in his kitchen, his ambition and approach have been focused on innovation, quality and style.

"Technically," he says, "our specialty is vatting -- where we bring together two or more whiskies to create a final product, much the same way a winemaker blends different grape varieties. But our real specialty is the creation of a style of whiskies that a whole new generation of people are saying they really enjoy. Our whiskies are softer, slightly sweeter and richer -- a style more in line with the tastes of a generation brought up on California Chardonnay and Coca-Cola."

Compass Box hand-picks mature malt and grain whiskies from 12 different distilleries across Scotland, then blends them in small batches to create their award-winning range. All blending and bottling takes place just outside of Edinburgh, Scotland. "Asyla," "The Peat Monster," "Hedonism" and "Eleuthera" are available at select locations nationwide. Compass Box has a fast-growing U.S. presence, distribution in 15 countries and over 40 winning medals at international competitions for whisky quality. Compass Box Whiskies are imported by Icon Brand, Bedford, NH.

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