Compass Box – Hedonism Quindecimus 46%

Up first in our latest exploration of Compass Box was Hedonism… But no ordinary edition… this was Quindecimus – their 15th anniversary special limited edition. It has an absolutely lush gorgeous label that simply screams nuance, complexity with a vintage feminine vibe.

Our host did his homework and knew this blended grain would take some coaxing and time to unfold… so he poured our glasses a half hour before we sat to start tasting.

We sampled it completely blind… and what did we think?

Hedonism Quindecimus 5689 46%

  • Nose – Started with soft caramel, light butterscotch, lemon, a bit astringent, sticky glue, wet grass, touch of kumquat, vanilla, sandalwood, a medicinal hint…
    • After the 1st sip some hazelnut, sweet grass joined, honey came increasingly to the fore, bread pudding and custard, with loads of butterscotch
    • Even more time and it took on such a lovely desert with cream and that fabulous butterscotch again
  • Palate – Citrus sweet… on the next sip there was chilli joining the sweet
  • Finish – Oddly flat and a bitter
  • Water – A mixed response – found it made it even more flat and left a bit awkward finish, others thought it added more character, with sweet and sour on the palate and a strong coconut quality

We set it aside and moved on to the other whiskies of the evening….

When we returned to it it, it was pure butterscotch, coconut on the aromas… however the palate and finish simply didn’t live up to the promise of the aromas.

With the reveal our host admitted after so much effort to to track this down, have it shipped to the US then bring to India it was a bit of a disappointment. I’ll also admit to having mixed experience with Hedonism – certainly interesting but not also bang on the mark, for me at least.

What do the folks at Compass Box have to say?

Fifteenth Anniversary Limited Edition release of 5,689 bottles. Bottled in February 2015.

Flavour Descriptors The combination of grain whiskies from different distilleries and of varying ages has created extraordinary complexity and juxtapositions of flavour. Indulgent yet lively, unctuous yet light, you will find a deep, sweet caramel coconut succulence combining with exultant tropical fruits.

Recommendations Drink this whisky as any true Hedonist would – however you like it, whenever you feel like it and in whatever quantity you deem appropriate. We particularly enjoy Quindecimus paired with sweet desserts or Highland fudge.

The blended grains are a combination of North British, Port Dundas, Dumbarton and a mystery blend aged more than 32 years.

After Hedonism, we continued on with :

And just in case you are curious? Here are notes from the earlier brushes with a different version of Compass Box’s Hedonism:

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3 thoughts on “Compass Box – Hedonism Quindecimus 46%

  1. Hi there. I absolutely loved this dram and so am really surprised by your comments. It is 4-5 years (?) since I last tasted and it was available. Could it have gone off? Was the bottle newly opened when you tasted it? I am not an assiduous note taker so I am not certain if I bought 2 or 3 bottles but I enjoyed every single drop!

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    • Hedonism seems to be one of those whiskies that folks either love or don’t… or at least have mixed reactions.

      I remember one bottle of the standard recipe being quite enjoyable whereas this one – much anticipated by our host – fell short of expectations. For the rest of us, as we tasted completely blind had no clue the efforts he went into to track the 15th anniversary bottle down.

      For me, it is in keeping with my experience with grains – a few exceptional ones and others that have their place but I tend to gravitate towards a good ol malt. 🙂

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  2. The regular edition of Hedonism was my first-ever grain whisky. I can’t say that it was love at first sight. But with time, I grew rather fond of both the Hedonism brand in particular and grain whisky in general.

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