Saturday, 16 May 2015

Compass box Hedonism Quindecimus

Perfect weather for a big, fruity but refreshing grain whisky!

Quindecimus is Latin for fifteenth, and is bottled in celebration of Compass Box whisky’s fifteenth anniversary.  Hedonism is Compass Box’s famous core grain whisky blend and has long been a favourite.  There’s been a couple of variations (Hedonism Maximus reviewed here, the 10th anniversary bottling I doubt I’ll ever get to try). As I reported from Whisky Live London earlier in the year, this bottle has a much bigger spread of grain whiskies in it in age terms, including some very old whiskies.  I was really excited to try this in a relaxed environment after the taste at whisky live, I could tell the structure and balance was spot on (as you’d expect from Compass Box) but that it was a really big, satisfying, whisky, but still very much a grain character. 

I have to say it’s rare I reach for a single grain – they can be so minimalist, with great holes in their character.  This makes them interesting and worthy of study, but not really good drinkers.  This blend of grains on the other hand, is whole, complete, and drinks beautifully.  I couldn’t be happier with it.

Compass box Hedonism Quindecimus, 46% A⊕+

compass-box-hedonism-quindecimus-whiskyNose - Bright and golden, with ripe pear, grape and a touch of air freshener. Underneath this fruit is wax crayon, sticky glacé cherries, a faint whiff of petrol, orange sorbet and lilies. Structurally, quite stern oak and a dusting of pepper. As always, it's a wonderfully balanced nose from Compass Box. Absolutely delicious too.

Body - Very juicy, enormously fruity and very sweet, but lightly spiced, with some pepper. Orange juice and zest. Rich and satisfying, soft ripe fruit and dark oak, and everything you want grain to be and so often isn't. Such balance (again) and immensely enjoyable. Hedonistic, even.

Finish - Hotter on the finish with very long sweet fruit. A touch of garage forecourt. Unmistakably grain whisky, and perfectly judged. This scratches the grain itch for me like some many ancient single cask grains haven't (of course that's so much easier when you allow yourself to blend).

What's not good about it - Nothing.

What's good about it - Beautifully fruity, very grain and very satisfying. Juicy, structured and perfectly balanced. Great packaging too. Buy now!

Thanks for Compass Box for the sample!

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