Compass Box Scotch Releases Limited The Circle No. 2


June 23, 2022

Compass Box The Circle No. 2

Compass Box Scotch whiskymakers announced a new limited edition blended whisky. The Circle No. 2 is the latest to emerge from Compass Box’s global bartender competition, The Circle, and is inspired by the phenomenon known as synesthesia.

The whisky (SRP $130, ABV 46%) will be available in the U.S. beginning in July, with only 3,113 bottles available worldwide.

The Circle bartender competition is designed to connect the creative processes of the Blending Rooms with the art of bartending, exploring imaginative and unusual ideas and bringing like-minded individuals together to learn, share and create.

British bartender Mannie Monaghan won the 2019 competition and earned the prize of collaboration with the Compass Box whiskymakers to blend the second edition of The Circle Scotch whisky. To do so, Monaghan, who owns Below Stairs in Leeds, U.K., tapped into the phenomenon known as synesthesia, asking the Compass Box team: “Is it possible to make a whisky that evokes the color coral?”

Synesthesia is defined as a blending of the senses, such as hearing shapes, tasting days of the week, or smelling colors and is as varied in its forms and intensities as the people who experience it. As a synesthete himself, Monaghan was able to bring the full force of his taste buds and personal color palette to the Compass Box Blending Rooms, fostering a unique creative process for the whiskymaking team.

Over two lengthy sessions, Monaghan joined lead whiskymaker James Saxon in the Blending Rooms. Not synesthetic himself, Saxon relied on Monaghan to first identify parcels of whisky with coral-like qualities.

The whisky gradually took shape. More than half of the recipe is tropical, pineapple-accented whisky from the Glen Elgin Distillery, while whiskies aged in Sherry casks lend warmth, energy, and a clinging texture. Dashes of a peated whisky, and a little malt whisky further matured in STR (shaved, toasted and re-charred) wine casks, bring contrast and depth. The Circle, No. 2 was created as an “outdoor whisky” to be enjoyed with friends, lounging on a lazy afternoon as the sun sets.

Compass Box wanted the Circle No. 2 label design to reflect the collaborative whiskymaking process and the fusing of the senses, as well as bring to life the beauty of coral.

For more information about Compass Box, visit