Whisky is made to be shared.
And so are ideas.
The Circle is our global bartender programme to connect the creative processes of the Blending Room with those of the bar trade.
At Compass Box, we believe some of the most exciting inventions come from unexpected combinations. Whether it’s pairing unusual ingredients, blending different techniques or taking inspiration from diverse cultures, the surprises that emerge can be quite magical.
WHICH IS WHY WE FORMED THE CIRCLE.
It’s our way of bringing together likeminded creators who love to do things differently. Each year we invite a select group of bartenders from around the globe to join our Whiskymakers on an adventure of flavours.
But this isn’t industry experimentation behind closed doors. These expert bartenders are set a range of challenges to test their creativity. The ultimate winner is then rewarded with the opportunity to create their own Limited Edition Compass Box whisky for everyone to enjoy.
THE CIRCLE, 2018
2018’s winner was London’s Rosey Mitchell from Three Sheets. Described as ‘sunshine in a glass’, her original idea was a fitting finale to an intense process. It started with heats in Argentina, France, the USA, Spain and the UK, before a three-day global final in London.
As The Circle’s inaugural winner, Rosey set a very high standard, but that just made it all the more exciting for Compass Box lovers.
To learn more about Rosey’s winning creation, click here.
THE CIRCLE, NO. 2
In 2019, we expanded the reach of the programme even further, with regional winners from Singapore, Leeds, Amsterdam, Florence, Barcelona, Providence and Tel Aviv.
The final also stepped up a notch, with a four day final including serve and whiskymaking challenges.
Mannie Monaghan from Below Stairs in Leeds was the world-class bartender who came out on top, and we can’t wait for you to try his creation, The Circle, No. 2.
Based around the concept of Synaesthesia, Mannie sought to evoke the colour Coral in its profile – warm, familiar and powerful.
People with Synaesthesia experience things with two senses at once. For Mannie, his world is one where colour and flavour coexist. This fascinating sensory experience inspired our latest Limited Edition, The Circle, No. 2 – the colour of Living Coral, expressed in liquid form.
Click here for more information about The Circle, No. 2.
In the videos below, you’ll learn how Mannie and Compass Box Whiskymaker James Saxon worked together to develop The Circle, No. 2’s rich “colour palette” of flavour.
Translating colour into flavour
Mannie Monaghan, winner of The Circle 2019, delves into his experiences of Synaesthesia, and how he and Whiskymaker James Saxon channelled this rare sensory perception to create The Circle, No. 2 – a whisky that transforms colour into flavour.
Deconstructing The Circle
Mannie Monaghan and James Saxon explore the different whisky parcels that make up The Circle, No. 2. Mannie experiences their flavours as different colours, and explains how they work together to make up the whisky’s complete “palette”.
A colourful tasting experience
The Circle, No. 2 is available now from our web shop and select specialist spirits retailers. Be sure to sign up to our newsletter for more news on this release.
For very obvious reasons, we have had to postpone The Circle competition for the past two years. We were really disappointed to have to do this, but we had to prioritise the wellbeing of our communities.
Thank you to the many wonderfully talented people who have played a part in the programme so far.
Stay tuned for more.