Compass Box Tasting Notes

Posted: September 23, 2011 in Scottish Grain Whisky, Vatted Scottish Grain Whisky

Compass Box Hedonism 43%

Tasted Jan 2003

A blend of Cambus and Caledonian grain. A complex, oily nose, quite fruity with a whiff of peat and salt.

Wonderfully soft and smooth on the palate with a melange of rich fruit cake, vanilla, orange, toffee and peach which blends rather well with the grainy bite. Long, sweet finish.

Compass Box Hedonism 46%

Tasted: 2004

A blend of Cambus and Cameronbridge grain, aged between 12 to 23 years old.

A complex, oily nose with a wonderful depth of creme brulee, nutty  fruit, creamy vanilla oak. Topped by a slight floral note and grainy crispness. Medium-sweet and quite full bodied. Lots of oily, nutty dried fruit, creme brulee and citrus peel notes. Lovely complexity and a tangy finish.

Compass Box Hedonism 43%

Bottling No. H25MMVI

It’s been a long while since I last tasted any of this, so long in fact that it was the only grain whisky that we used to stock and it was definitely a favourite of mine. . So how did it stack up against the plethora of single cask grains that are now available? – The answer is pretty well, of course!

The nose opens with a huge wad of creamy vanillin’s, pure caramel and beeswax, intertwined with that distinctive ‘grainy’ note. This is lovely – pure butter cream with toffee topping! Over time it develops a violet and aniseed note along with some leafy herbs.

The palate follows the nose with the vanillin’s leading off followed smartly by the caramel coated grains and a touch of violet. Lovely intensity and crispness with the alcohol arriving on a botanical wave. Although it might sound like a bit of an oak monster it is superbly balanced, so that the oak isn’t overly intrusive. Long, creamy after taste.

Compass Box Hedonism 43%

Re-Tasted: May 2014

The nose is crisp and grainy with a light rum-like dried fruit note, along with hints of dark chocolate and angelica. With time the oak asserts itself with creamy, buttery and smoky notes.

The palate is soft and quite heavily oaked. A little grain penetrates the chunky vanillins as does a little lightly oiled and nutty rum-like dried fruit. The oak does impinge upon the complexity of the spirit and although pleasant it doesn’t have the wow factor of previous bottlings. Good length with a sweet spice finish.

Compass Box Hedonism 43%

A blend of grain whisky from Cameron Bridge,Carsebridge, Cambus, Port Dundas or Dumbarton

Aged in first-fill American oak barrels or rejuvenated American oak Hogsheads

Re-Tasted: June 2014

The nose displays plenty of oak with some crisp, rum-like dried fruit along with dried banana and coconut. The aromas become very sweet although the graininess attempts to balance. With time it becomes very coconuty and the oak becomes very buttery.

The palate displays a little less oak and a little more grain. Lightly rummy dried fruit mingles with grilled nuts and hints of cassia bark. Softyly spiced with the grain holding the oak in check. Hints of banana, coconut, dark coffee and dark chocolate emerge on the middle. Long with a lingering dried fruit and a grainy spirit bite finish.

Compass Box Hedonism Quindecimus 46%

Fifteenth Anniversary Limited Edition release of 5,689 bottles.

Bottled in February 2015/ Tasted: Apr 2015

Nose: A lovely nose of succulent, fragrantly smoked dried fruit. Oily sultana mingles with dried apricot, coconut and marzipan along with a touch of cedar and camphor. With time a light granulated sugar and astringent herbal notes appear.

Palate: Lightly oiled and lightly spiced melange of sultana, dried grape, cherry, apple and apricot fruit. A seam of gentle wood smoke drifts through along with some distinct, sweet but edgy grain spices.

Finish: Long and quite oaky with plenty of coconut and peanut notes, but finishing with some lovely, crisp grain.

Conclusion: A lovely, moderately aged grain whisky. Grain as good as this has a truly unique flavour profile which every whisky lover should try at least once. Starting with this one!

Compass Box Hedonism Quindecimus 46%

17.6% North British 20 year old (First Fill American Standard Barrel), 36.6% Port Dundas 25 year old (rejuvenated hoggies) 8.4% Dumbarton 28 year old (ASB), 19.4% Port Dundas 20 year old (First Fill American Standard Barrel) and 18% Mystery Pre-Blended 32 year old parcel from Loch Lomond (ASB)

Re-Tasted: May 2015

The nose displays plenty of soft vanilla, lightly spicy grain and smoky dried fruit. Hints of sweeter grain spirit emerges along with coconut, camphor, marzipan, herbs and cigar smoke. Wonderfully deep, lightly oiled and lightly peppery spiced.

Soft and succulent on the palate with hints of dried apricot, sultana, coconut and dried grape. A lovely combination of crisp and sweet grain follows, leading into a wonderfully rich, spicy middle. Very mouth-filling with a touch of toasty oak and wood smoke. Long and spicy with the crisp grain keeping the oak at bay. Lovely softly smoked after-taste.


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