Compass Box Hedonism (43%, Compass Box, 2014)
- 43% ABV, £55 for 70cl
- Score: 85/100
What they say:
Our bottlings of Hedonism are made from a combination of eight to 15 casks of grain whisky from distilleries such as Cameron Bridge, one of the oldest continuously operating distilleries in Scotland, and Cambus. Most whisky in Hedonism has been aged in first-fill American oak casks. This ageing yields a very special whisky that is full and round with richly textured flavours of vanilla and toffee.
Rare, Old Scotch Grain Whisky
Hedonism is unusual in the Scotch whisky world: a blended grain Scotch whisky. It is very rare to see 100% grain whisky bottlings, in Scotland. Going back 100 years, grain whisky brands were more common, but they were overtaken in popularity by the big brands of blended Scotch, which comprised both grain whisky and malt whisky. Today, most Scotch grain whisky gets blended into the big brand names, typically at young ages. For Hedonism, we search for old casks of Scotch grain whisky. And we only produce Hedonism once a year, when we find casks with the right flavour profile.
Rich, Sweet, Alluring
When good Scotch grain whisky is aged in good quality American oak casks, the results can be stunning: a rich, sweet, alluring whisky, redolent of vanilla, pastry cream and coconut. You’ll find all these things in our Hedonism bottlings. We believe that great Scotch grain whisky is the little-known treasure of the Scotch whisky industry.
The Signature Range from Compass Box
Hedonism is part of the Signature Range from Compass Box. The five Scotch whiskies in this range cover the entire spectrum of Scotch whisky styles, from the delicate, sweet character of Asyla, to the subtle vanilla, clove and fruity characteristics of Oak Cross, the rich and spice notes of The Spice Tree, the peaty- smoky character of The Peat Monster and the elegant flavours of vanilla cream, toffee and coconut in Hedonism. Each is made from the highest quality casks, to create more complexity. The whiskies are combined according to each recipe and returned to casks for marrying up to 24 months before bottling. Steps like these enhance complexity, flavour integration and soft mouthfeel. Extra steps, but we think they’re worth it.
Elegant flavours of vanilla cream, toffee, coconut.
Recommendations As an aperitif, serve with a small amount of chilled water. Late in the evening, serve neat. Also makes a great whisky sour.
Distillery Sourcing Will vary according to batch but typically whiskies from the following distilleries: Cameron Bridge, Carsebridge, Cambus, Port Dundas or Dumbarton.
Wood 100% first-fill American oak barrels or rejuvenated American oak Hogsheads.
Bottling Details 43%. Not chill filtered. Natural colour.
What I say:
Hedonism is an all grain blend, produced in small batches using only grain whisky matured in 1st fill ex-bourbon casks aged to around 19-26 years old before blending. Laser spray codes (L:number) should be found on each bottle indicating the day/month/year of each batch produced.
Light and delicate Custard Cream biscuits
Smooth and light, Custard Cream biscuits, vanilla, cream, custard
Short with a little hint of spice