Food Review

Compass Box’s First Limited-edition Of 2023: Delos, A Scotch Inspired By Its Asyla Blend –


The award-winning Scotch whiskymaker has launched its latest expression. Delos, a delicate and soothing Scotch, pays homage to the flavours of yesteryear. A reimagined study of Compass Box’s much-admired blend, Asyla (retired in 2018), Delos uses older stocks to capture its beloved vibrancy and soothing sweetness. The second release from the whisky maker’s Extinct Blends Quartet series, Delos is a limited edition of 5,520 bottles.


You won’t actually find the word ‘whiskymaker’ in the dictionary; this is Compass Box’s own word. For two decades now the innovative brand has been fixed on reinventing Scotch whisky, taking the genre to a more interesting place. To do so they have sought the help of some of the world’s most visionary bartenders and designers to really break ground and experiment beyond the expected. Compelling, yet completely surprising, their ethos is key in their identity as whiskymakers.

The Extinct Blends Quartet

Each year, Compass Box releases a number of Limited Editions, each with its own identity; these are made from very rare releases of a few hundred bottles, and turned into several thousand bottles, allowing a wider market to experience the essence of the original. The Extinct Blends Quartet includes the characters of four very diverse expressions of blended Scotch. Two have been released, with the remainder due to be introduced in late 2023 and early 2024.

Malt and grain

With an interplay of grain and malt, Delos poses the kind of elegant and refined flavour that comes from the rarest and most idiosyncratic stocks used in its creation; these are malt whiskies from the esteemed Glen Elgin, Imperial and Miltonduff distilleries. Having been aged in American oak barrels, they possess a sweet yet mellow mixture of ripe pear, pineapple, orange, and vanilla notes. The maturity of the grain whisky on the other hand, builds to reveal guava, heather honey and chai spices.

Paying homage to Delos’ roots

Delos is named after the Greek island purported to be the birthplace of the god Apollo, a beautiful place that’s prolific with mosaics and ruined ancient temples. Representative of Asyla’s serenity as a whisky, the Delos expression is blended to entice the senses with meditative flavours that embody its namesake.

A lyre on the label

The original Asyla label has been remembered in the packaging design, its label art featuring the same female lute player, but this time in mosaic form, as a nod to the isle of Delos. And in the new interpretation, she plays a lyre, an instrument linked to Apollo. Finally, the outline of the tiles are broken away to depict the coastlines of Delos and Greece.

James Saxon, the lead whiskymaker at Compass Box commented: “While inspired by the style and recipe structure of Asyla, Delos has richer and rounder flavours from using older stocks of whiskies which amplify the character, bringing more grandeur to it and making it more resonant. The delicate mouthfeel and transportive aromas within Delos are nevertheless familiarly delicious. For me, sipping Delos feels like a holiday.”

Delos is available at an RRP of £265 and an ABV of 49%). Find out more about the collection at



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