Whisky Ladies Compass Box Eve – Hedonism 43%

At our Whisky Ladies Compass Box evening shifted gears completely… Having just sampled Spice Tree Extravaganza and the lightly peaty Great King Street Experimental Batch, we realized before launching into the decidedly peaty Flaming Heart and Peat Monster, it might be a good idea to recalibrate our palates with the unique Hedonism.

Compass Box Hedonism 43%

  • Nose – Exquisite! Subtle, nuanced, fresh oranges, exceedingly fresh and fragrant
  • Palate – Piña colada with that mix of coconut cream and pineapple, sweet light spice, silky smooth, vanilla custard
  • Finish – Starts with a great finish then “Oh you are gone, but was nice while it lasted!”

There was an immediate flashback to the Nikka Coffey Grain with its coconut, pinneapple, yet obviously a much more nuanced variant… for some it was absolutely delicious and for others, just not their style. Which seems to be the case with grain whiskies.

It was a complete departure from the earlier drams and an excellent example of the range of unique blends Compass Box produces.

Here’s what the folks at Compass Box have to say:

The inspiration behind our whisky HEDONISM is just that – pleasure, enjoyment, a celebration of that ideal marriage between distilled spirit and high quality oak maturation. The aromas and flavours hint of vanilla, caramel, a delicate fruitiness, accented by flashes of coconut in the finish. This is a whisky that will appeal to both the ardent whisky enthusiast and newcomers to whisky alike.

Our Compass Box evening included:

Psst… this wasn’t my first rodeo with Hedonism… you can read more about my earlier experiences here. I was delighted to sample a more recent incarnation.

This whisky was purchased by one of our Whisky Ladies and sampled from an open, nearly full bottle in July 2017.

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Whisky Ladies Explore a Compass Box Quintet

Most of our Whisky Ladies are no strangers to the often remarkable Compass Box blends. As a group, we’ve sampled the delightful Asyla, Great King Street – Artists Blend and the unique Hedonism. Independently, some of us have tasted many more…

For some time now, we’ve wanted to enjoy a focused session exploring Compass Box offerings… and found our chance on a monsoon evening in July 2017!

It began as a trio, yet morphed into a quintet – oh my! And no ordinary set either… no siree! We found ourselves exploring several limited edition avatars too..

Here is what we tried a Compass Box quintet of:

As always, the distinctive designs, superb craftsmanship and unique take on different whisky profiles was impressive. What a treat to try these together!

Related Compass Box posts:

From time to time, you can also find other whisky related updates and activities on:

Compass Box – Hedonism 43%

I seem to be on a bit of a Compass Box roll… til date have sampled: AsylaGreat King’s Cross Artist’s Blend and Glasgow Blend, Juveniles, Spice Tree, The Peat Monster… and now Hedonism.

This sample came compliments of the Canadian stash from my aunt and uncle – fellow whisky aficionados with their own whisky tasting group running for more than a decade.

Compass Box Hedonism (Whisky Lady's uncle)

Compass Box Hedonism (Whisky Lady’s uncle)

Hedonism 43% – Blended grain scotch whisky

And here goes my impressions:

  • Nose – Lots of coconut oil, light and perfumed, sweet vanilla flowers, subtle, over time a light white chocolate emerged, then an overly sweet marzipan
  • Taste – A slightly odd quality… not so much oak more like a ‘woody’ coconut, a bit herbal, very soft with a bitter edge, like faded cinnamon bark
  • Finish – Very dry, light yet somehow hangs in there, a curl of oak and something else I simply wasn’t able to pinpoint
  • Water – Adds a slightly spicy element, creamy, the pronounced coconut remains but a tinge subdued

Interestingly, we had the dregs of another bottle of Hedonism passed around at the end of our August Whisky Ladies session. It had been transferred into a small glass jar… and I found the coconut oil so predominant we actually speculated whether the container may have contaminated the sample.

Clearly it had not as this one from my aunt and uncle had that same quality.

In some ways, it reminded me of my first foray into the land of single grain whisky from Chita. Yet while the Chita is quite ‘technical’ in its soft, delicate, floral nature, Hedonism has more of an ‘edge,’ there is personality peaking through that coconut and a sense of age.

I wanted to love it as I do many Compass Box offerings. I was pre-disposed to find it delightful. It isn’t.

Yet it is intriguing. Unusual. Difficult to describe. Completely unique. And it grows on you… sip after sip…

Do I like it? After a bit of warming up and aligning to its special qualities… yes!

Would it be 1st priority for future purchasing? Perhaps not but it is absolutely worth trying if you get a chance.

For a bit more info, here’s what the folks at Compass Box say about Hedonism
  • Flavour Descriptors – 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.
And here’s what others say:
Canadian stash

Canadian stash…

Other Compass Box treats sampled:

From time to time, you can also find other whisky related updates and activities on:

Whisky samples – the Canadian ‘score’

During my June – July 2015 trip to Canada, my ever so amazing aunt and generous uncle decided to indulge their niece in a shared passion – whisky tasting.

I’m a novice next to them. They’ve had a successful whisky tasting club in their home town of Fort Frances, Ontario for years now… As in approximately 15 years.

And lucky me – they cracked open their collection to bring me a few samples! Here is a glimpse into this fabulous ‘goodie pack’:

It is quite the collection of baby jar whisky samples… just check these beauties out!

Canadian stash

Pssst… a year later, I managed to acquire another Canadian score!

From time to time, you can also find other whisky related updates and activities on: