Whisky Review: Compass Box No Name No. 3

, | February 16, 2022

Editor’s Note: This whisky was provided to us as a review sample by Compass Box. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.

American ex-pat John Glaser is the founder and head whisky maker of Compass Box. He never intended for the No Name expressions to become a series. Now offering the third and final edition in the series, No Name No. 3 continues to exemplify the complexity of blended peated whisky. The grande finale is a blend with a seashore smokiness cultivated around whisky from the Laphroaig Distillery. 

James Saxon is the lead whisky maker behind No Name No. 3, which is the crescendo of the series exploring heavily peated whisky. While Laphroaig makes up 74.7% of the blend, Saxon added their own highland malt blend (0.5%) and three other distilleries as supporting characters. Bowmore (11.5%). Mortlach (7.5%), and Clynelish (6%) make up the rest of the No Name No. 3.

Compass Box has proven repeatedly that blended whisky is nothing to scoff at. The No Name series is not the first time the brand has gone big with peat. Peat lovers first discovered Compass Box in 2003 with the release of it Peat Monster. I have no doubt the experimentation with peat will not end with No Name No. 3, but I hope the love for the series from fans will lead to another permanent peated expression in Compass Box’s portfolio. 

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This Peat Princess has searched for the smokiest whisky she could drink, and holy smokes this may quite be the leader of the pack. Before committing to a bottle, I suggest finding a place to taste a dram of it first. If you must have it, remember there are a little fewer than 10,800 bottles available. 

Compass Box No Name, No. 3 review

Compass Box No Name, No. 3 (image via Compass Box)

Tasting Notes: Compass Box No Name No. 3

Vital Stats: 48.9% ABV. Blended single malt whisky. Limited to 10,794 bottles. 750ml $130.

Appearance: Pale straw

Nose: The No Name III is pungent like a ripe sweaty sock. It is one of the smokiest and dirtiest scotches I’ve ever smelled. I would say it is a campfire mixed with a hint of rubber and wet dog. Iodine is predominant with band-aids. My eyes are watering. Aside from the stinky compost, there is a bit of orange peel and marshmallow. 

Palate: The mouthfeel is light and has a sooty or charcoal taste at the beginning. The middle is sweet with simple syrup, and this is where orange peel pops out. The middle is also floral with jasmine and rose hips. The whisky numbs the tongue, but I can make out pineapple or mango. The smoke from the nose hits at the end with salt and pepper. Overall, I feel like I drank a barbecue pit.

The Takeaway
5

Summary

The No Name No. 3 from Compass Box is a beast of a whisky like none I have ever tamed. The peat lasts in your sinuses and mouth minutes after drinking. While it is one of the stinkiest whiskies I’ve ever sipped, I absolutely love it. The nose is stronger than the palate. I had no expectations going into this review, but if you have researched No Name No. 3, do not think it’s going to be like Ardbeg, Laphroaig, or even Compass Box’s Peat Monster.

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Courtney Kristjana

Courtney Kristjana is a leading whiskey taster in the country. She left a career in Gerontology after an article on Heather Greene inspired her to follow her passion for whiskey. She is studying to become a Master of Scotch and someday hopes she is nominated for the Keepers of the...