Compass Box Rivals

This whisky is not listed on their website, so I don’t have the nitty gritty details, but Compass Box Rivals was created for the rival cities of Boston and New York. Julio’s in Boston got some and the famous Astor Wines & Spirits in New York got some. A handful of other liquor stores got a few bottles, but Julio’s and Astor got the bulk.

Speaking of bulk. Most of this whisky is Macallan followed by Teaninich, Imperial and Compass Box’s signature “Highland Malt” blend. A unique whisky indeed to be throwing in barrels of Macallan, which is fetching small fortunes on the market these days if it’s sherried. I was lucky to get to try this thanks to a fan (thanks Caroline) and couldn’t be happier that I did. Now, let’s dig into the Compass Box Rivals shall we?

Whiskey Review: Compass Box Rivals

Compass Box Rivals Color

In Compass Box’s Words: Compass Box Rivals

Nothing, which sucks because Compass Box is one of the two, High West being the other, I can usually trust to have all the info I could want and more about their whisky.

Compass Box Rivals price, ABV, age and other details

Region: Scotland

Blender: Compass Box
Blend: Macallan, Imperial, Teaninich and “Highland Malt” (60% Clynelish, 20% Dailuaine, 20% Teaninich)
Cask: ex-Bourbon, French Oak Hybrid, ex-Sherry
Age: NAS
ABV: 46%

Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color

Price: NA – Auction, Specialty Store or Private Seller

Compass Box Rivals Tasting Notes

Light gold

Honey, waxy fruit, spice, crisp apples, grassy malt, graham and a light bit of cotton candy.

Honey, earthy malt, fruit, vanilla frosting, banana, graham and wax with a touch of cotton candy and char.

Medium -> Waxy fruit, vanilla, banana and toffee.

Good, medium body and a touch oily.

Compass Box Rivals Review – OVERALL

Compass Box Rivals is a good crisp, clean and enjoyable Scotch from start to finish. It’s a bit lacking in depth, but still robust enough that I’d be more than happy to come home to this any day. The aroma and palate both remind me a bit of old Clynelish with the amount of waxy fruit it carries. Which shocked me a bit when I found out it was mostly Macallan.

Ex-Bourbon Macallan for sure, but still, I’ve never had a Macallan that was quite that waxy, even in the ex-bourbon series. One of the most unique executions of Macallan, or a Macallan heavy blend to be exact, I’ve encountered. If you come across it, likely in Boston or New York since that’s who it was bottled for, give the Compass Box Rivals a shot. Or two if you like it.

SCORE: 87/100 (B+)

Compass Box Rivals Review

Compass Box Rivals Review
  • Nose - 87
  • Palate - 88
  • Finish - 87
  • Balance, Body & Feel - 88


Compass Box Rivals was bottled for Boston and New York and if you find one lounging in a bar in either city give it a go; you won’t be sorry… unless it’s $100 a glass. Then you might be.

Compass Box Rivals Label

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