Compass Box’s Hedonism sits within their Signature Range of premium blends and is the collection’s sole blended grain scotch whisky. Whilst the usual ingredients of Hedonism mostly features Cameronbridge single grain whisky vatted with Port Dundas, this bottle was marked MMVXI-C, which allows you check the exact recipe on their website. Here we discover that whilst Cameronbridge is the main component again (45%), in the interests of securing the same flavour profile, this has then been married with Dumbarton (31%) and Strathclyde (24%) grain whiskies all matured in first fill American oak casks and bottled at 43% ABV.
Nose: This is very sweet. There’s a real vanilla pod burst here and the boozy nose can barely mask it. There’s also a bit of a tropical scent to this too, which made us both think of pineapple. Yes, pineapple.
Taste: As soon as the initial booze blast subsides, then the distinctive grain whisky banana and custard flavours come out. That strange pineapple flavour reappears now too, along with coconut (we’re not making this up!) and reveals a totally tropical taste.
Finish: It leaves a good, clean finish and is all over just a little too quickly, unfortunately for us.
Verdict: As the name suggests, the whisky intends to celebrate the enjoyment of things, and particularly the flavours of grain whisky. By our books, it achieves that. The classic grain whisky flavours and textures are there, and the first fill US barrels make for a very vanilla-rich whisky. It may have been the power of suggestion (and the free flowing of alcohol) but this was then complemented by what seems like the whisky equivalent of the Malibu pineapple-meets-coconut flavour. When comparing notes to the other Compass Box expressions in the Signature Range, we’re not sure why there aren’t as many individual flavours listed within the notes for the grain whisky, but then again it just seems to be more about being straightforward and enjoyable. If the brief was for simplicity and enjoyment thereof then they have aimed well and hit that target. Beautiful stuff. “Rich. Vanilla. Alluring.” Indeed.