Seasonal Scotch

Compass Box Orangerie returns

We all know a Scotch snob, the sort who loves to spout off single-malt conquests and who eschews anything with the word "blended" on the label.

But in 2000, whiskey maker John Glaser (pictured) turned the heads of many devout single-malt sippers when he launched his Compass Box line of blended whiskies.

Glaser does something that's unheard of (and quite controversial) in Scotland: He sources whiskies from the country's best distilleries, then blends them to combine the best of their attributes in one bottle.

Moreover, Glaser created Orangerie, a blended whiskey that's infused with the zest of Navalino oranges, Sri Lankan cloves and cassia bark. The end result is smooth and warming, with vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and other sweet-spice aromatics (click here to watch a video tasting). And after a three-year hiatus, it's now back on liquor-store shelves.

Orangerie is excellent on its own as an after-dinner drink; it's also good mixed into wintry cocktails like the St. Nicholas (click here to download the recipe).