Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Whisky Discovery #95

Compass Box ‘Hedonism’ (43% abv)
Blended Grain Whisky
Circa £58.00 70cl

Compass Box Hedonism
For our 6th Compass Box whisky we were treated to the fifth and final expression from their Signature Range. (Unfortunately my phone started playing up around this time so did not manage to get a photo of the bottle, so this photo is kindly supplied by Compass Box)

Hedonism is a unique vatting of Scotch grain whiskies from top quality American oak casks it’s also unusual in the Scotch whisky world being 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, Compass Box search for old casks of Scotch grain whisky. It is only produced once or twice a year, when casks with the right flavour profile are found. It’s typically a marriage of two Lowland distilleries averaging over 20 years old. However, the combination of whiskies will vary according to batch, but whiskies from Cameron Bridge, Carsebridge, Cambus, Port Dundas or Dumbarton distilleries are used.

The grain whisky is aged in good quality American oak casks, either 100% first-fill American oak barrels or rejuvenated American oak Hogsheads. The results can be stunning: a rich, sweet, alluring whisky, redolent of vanilla, pastry cream and coconut. The whisky is bottled at 43%. It is not chill filtered and naturally coloured.

So what did I think?
The coconut on the nose was the immediate sensation when nosing this whisky, I really wasn’t expecting it at all! Perhaps tasting this after The Peat Monster wasn’t the best idea, especially as I love peated whiskies, so I may not have given this the sort of time it deserved. Coconut was written in large letters in my notebook, but I followed up with vanilla cream, toffee, rich and sweet. This is the third Compass Box whisky listed in Ian Buxton's book and I think I need to revisit this one in order to give it the time it deserves.

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