Thanks to /u/Boyd86 for the sample.
In my house I’m the cook and baker. And the guy who does the dishes too, but that’s an argument for me and my wife, and not anyone else.
But back to the main point: The reason I cook and bake more often is because for me, a mixture of ingredients is bigger than the raw ingredients. I enjoy cookies: Who doesn’t? I guess diabetics, but stay with me.
Cookies are made up of flour, sugar, chocolate, eggs, and butter. Now doesn’t get me wrong: All of those things are great by themselves (except the flour). But mix them together and you can explain my ever expanding waist.
So when I speak of blends in whisky, I’m always conflicted. I enjoy Single Malts more than Blends. I know, such a controversial statement. But I look to cooking and baking to make something better, so I want to enjoy blends more.
That brings us to Compass Box Hedonism. It’s a blend grain whisky with no single malt in it. And it’s only made with older grain whisky.
You see, usually you take younger grain whisky and mix it with single malts to make a blend. But in this case they’ve taken single grain whisky that is older, only make it once or two times a year to ensure quality, and use single grain that has been aged in first fill American oak.
That’s interesting. I’ve had many a good Single Grain Single Malt, so I’m interested here. Could change my mind on them needing a finish, even at high ages.
So, let’s see how it tastes, shall we?
Price: Not currently available at the LCBO
Colour: 7.5Y 9/4
Nose: Wax, honey, jalapeno, wheat, grapefruit, sunflowers, gooseberry
Initial waxiness mixed with honey. Reminders me of honey comb or visiting a bee hive.
There’s a lot of floral aspects and some odd heat and acidic notes. Like when you make Mexican chicken with tequila, orange, and herbs the first time.
Or the second time. Really it doesn’t matter how many times, it always is a little odd.
Taste: Fennel, honey, pecan, butterscotch, earth, sugar
At first it reminds me of a peated dram, with the light anise, but then goes to some rougher (though not rough alcohol) flavours. Still quite sweet.
Maybe too sweet. Like using pure vanilla when you’re used to artificial vanilla for too long and add too much.
Finish: Lemon zest, sour cream, black pepper, cricket flour, vodka
Cricket Flour is ground up crickets that can be used instead of flour to add additional protein in cooking. It tastes like a mixture between cinnamon and cumin.
Now that I’ve explained that, I’ll say that I don’t like the finish. It’s raw. Reminds me of a whipped cream vodka or a weak icing.
Conclusion: This is an interesting dram that nearly pulls it all together. It has a light nose, a good mouthfeel, and some interesting flavours. That said, there’s still some raw aspects, and while I get that they probably couldn’t, older components would probably end that.
I’ve heard there’s a special edition, so I’ll have to try it. It may be the low Abv messing with it, however I don’t get that. I’d still recommend people try this, as it’s unique, well put together, and something that others should try to copy, if for no other reason than we need different blends to change everyones view on them. Mine included.
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