The Whiskystats Portrait of Compass Box
Compass Box is one of the most exciting whisky blenders on the market. High quality, limited releases combined with maximum transparency gained some attention from the otherwise single malt oriented collectors. Here is our portrait of Compass Box!
Founded in the year 2000 by a former Johnnie Walker marketing director, Compass Box soon established its reputation as one of the most innovative whisky producers. So much so that the Scotch Whisky Association threatened legal actions multiple times as Compass Box pushed the boundaries of whisky maturation and started to include the full information of all components on each whisky label. So the question is how does the secondary whisky market acknowledge this inventiveness?
By the time of writing these lines, we find 151 different Compass Box whiskies in our database. These include their major releases from the Signature Range, like The Peat Monster, Hedonism or The Spice Tree but also the Great King Street subbrand. First-off we take a look at the number of traded bottles each month. In below graph we stacked the respective numbers from the different auctioneers on top of each other.
Up until 2017 we seldom observed more than ten Compass Box whiskies being exchanged in one round of auctions. Obviously this changed in 2017 as since then we never observed less than 25 in one month. Nowadays we see up to 80 or 90 bottles on offer on a regular basis. The majority is being traded in the U.K. (ScotchWhiskyAuction.com and WhiskyAuctioneer.com). In below chart we also added the mean and median prices to the market data of the last four years.
It seems like not only did the number of trades increased significantly in 2017, but also the prices being paid. Prior to 2017, both the mean and median price per bottle were at around 100 Euros. Today the average Compass Box whisky trades for around 250 to 300 Euros (mean price), but half of the offers sell for less than 200 Euros (median price). This disparity means that there are some Compass Box releases which trade for far more, so let’s have a look at those, shall we.
We currently find three Compass Box releases which trade for around 2000 Euros. All of these three are very limited releases from more than seven years ago. The Numinous Cask was just recently sold for 1975 Euros at ScotchWhiskyAuctions.com. In November 2018 the Canto Cask 50 sold for 1997 Euros. And the below displayed Optimism was last seen on auctions in May 2018 when in achieved 2005 Euros.
The Canto Cask 50 and the Numinous Cask also belong to the highest value gainers. We have seen the Canto Cask 50 appearing on auctions only twice. The first time was back in February 2013 when a humble 89 Euros were paid. Above mentioned trade for 1997 Euros from November 2018 equals an incredible 2140% increase in value within six years. The Numinous Cask started its ascent in June 2013 from 122 Euros, while the 2005 Eleuthera Marriage Cask climbed from 47 Euros in July 2011 to 717 Euros in October 2017.
Almost all of the Compass Box whiskies bare no age information. Actually, if put aside the three years-old Deluxe edition, we only find two very exceptional expressions. The Hedonism 10th Anniversary release from 2009 was distilled in 1971 and therefor is 38 years-old. And the market accounts for this age, as it was traded for 1100 Euros in November 2019. But the oldest Compass Box whisky in our database is the Bern’s edition. This special release aged for 41 years in american oak casks and is quite regularly traded for currently 900 Euros. The overall most traded Compass Box whisky is the below displayed Transistor.
The Transistor was released in 2019 and appeared on auctions for the first time in April this year. Since then, we observed 82 bottles changing their owner. Other frequently traded releases are the Hedonism Quindecimus and The General from 2013. And by the way, the most unlimited limited Compass Box whisky was the Juveniles from 2018, of which “only” 14.894 bottles were released.