"I am not afraid to be unconventional to create a new style of whisky if the result is a delicious drink," John Glaser, the creator of Compass Box Delicious Whisky.
He entered the Scotch Whisky industry on November 1, 2001, launching three lables, Hedonism, Asyla and Eleuthera.
"To make whiskies that no one else is making, you have to do two things: work in small batches and blending, which allows me to be creative."
After getting a literature degree in Ohio, John Glaser spent several years in the wine industry in Washington, D.C. In 1993 after earning his MBA, he became an U.S. Marketing Manager for Johnnie Walker, blended Scotch Whisky. There he discovered his passion in Scotch whisky.
In 1998 he moved to London as a global marketing director. 2 years later he found himself apart from Johnnie Walker to pursuit his dream to create his own Scotch whisky.
His current portfolio includes three labels: Hedonism, 'the only vatted grain whisky on the market,1 Asyla, the 50% Speyside malt whisky with a round, sweet and fruity taste, and the Eleuthera, 'the smoky vatted malt,' combining the mature Highland whiskies and Islay's smoky whiskies.
With Hedonism, he introduced his own cocktail recipes. "If the cocktail recipe serves to complement or play off of the flavour of the whisky, there is nothing wrong with using really good whiskies in cocktails," says Glaser.
Compass Box Whisky Cocktails:
George's Hedonism Martini
Use a small amount of red vermouth (often called sweet vermouth) to wet the ice by stirring it all in a shaker for a minute and strain off the vermouth. Add at least 50ml of Hedonism and a few dashes of Angostura bitters; stir for 1 - 2 minutes. Then strain into a cocktail glass with orange peel garnish.
Pepe's Compass Box Old-Fashioned
Make a tradition Old-Fashioned with just a little sirrope de gomme, logs of ice, 4 dashes of Angostura bitters, lots of orange zest, 50ml of Hedonism whisky and garnish with an orange peel. "Pepe then flames the drink for dramatic effect. You may not try that at home."
Some Scotch whisky producers colour the whisky to maintain the consistency with spirit caramel, like Johnnie Walker, where he gained industrial knowledge before inventing his whiskies. Colouring does not affect flavour. "My whisky is a natural product, so why mess with it?"
Blended Scotch whiskies are widely marketed in the U.S. market including Johnnie Walker, Cutty Sark and Dewar1s. Among these giant brands, Glaser does not see the competition in the industry.
"My audience is different from those. Some are serious malt aficionados, some are vodka drinkers looking for something different. They see my products as having the same sort of crafted-ness like wines and beers."