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:

American attitude – Corsair Triple Smoke Small Batch Whiskey40%

This month, we braved Ganapathi festival traffic in Mumbai to sample three quite distinct whiskies from three countries – Scotland, Ireland and this American.

Unfortunately, I was insanely delayed reaching so we had two sets of tasting notes… the core group captured beautifully by another member and then her capturing of my ‘speed tasting’ solo impressions. I have definitely never zipped through sampling three whiskies in mere minutes before!

Corsair Triple Smoike

Corsair Triple Smoke

Corsair Triple Smoke 40%, Batch 162, Bottle 153 of 450
For the Corsair, here is what we found:
  • Nose:
    • Group – Medicinal to smoky bacon, the nose gives the feel that it must have body… breathing very well like a “book flippping opening fast,” honey-glazed ham, marmalade
    • Solo – Oily, a bit ‘in your face’ as in ‘Pay Attention!’ but in a good way, overripe fruits, bananas, definitely quite ‘forward’ on the nose… as it opened baby puke sour, bacon then back to sour with the smokey meaty element gone
  • Taste: 
    • Group – Coffee, dry on the tongue, no smoke / peat on taste
    • Solo – Robust, tobacco, chewy, faintly bitter
  • Finish: 
    • Group / Solo – No finish… as in nada
  • Overall – It has attitude and also is quite a character. Worthy of further exploration. Something is going on with this one!
Corsair is an American small batch distillery based in Nashville Tennessee and Bowling Green, Kentucky. They have become a bit of a cult favourite for their edgy fun approach to fine spirits.
Corsair’s description and details for Triple Smoke:
  • Smoky. Buttery. Rich. Crafted for Cocktails.
  • We take three fractions of malted barley, each smoked by a different fuel – cherry wood, peat, and beechwood – to craft this deeply complex whiskey.
  • Pot distilled then barreled in a new charred oak, Triple Smoke has the sweetness and barrel notes of an American whiskey and a single malt’s rich smoke, broadened by tones of cherry and beech. Excellent mixed or neat.
Their tasting notes:
  • Huge, rich flavour. Three smokes with peat at the fore, sweetness and vanillas. Buttery, broad flavour and long finish. Makes a great Manhattan.

Did we like it? You bet!

Check out the other whiskies sampled at our September 2015 session:

You can also find Whisky Lady in India on: