Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Compass Box: Hedonism & The General

The other week I had the pleasure of being at a tasting hosted by Chris Maybin of Compass Box Whiskies. I did a brief write up for The Whisky Shop's blog that you can have a read of here. If I get a chance I'll do a more in-depth review of some of the whiskies I tried at the tasting but here's something for the interim. The other week got to try a couple of Compass Box whiskies that I'd not tried before courtesy of a colleague, so here are a few notes on those.

Hedonism (43%) 

Sweet cream soda on the nose; in some ways like a bourbon only softer, mellowed out with white chocolate. On the palate there's sweet cake mix and an abundance of creamy vanilla. The finish is quite light, as you would probably expect from grain whisky, but the vanilla continues in a rather more spicy incarnation. 

Overall a really pleasant dram - I might find the vanilla a bit much after a while and find myself craving some variation, but it's certainly a great summery whisky, if not as complex as the Great King Street that I tried for the first time up in Scotland last year.   

The General (53.4%)

On the nose I got a heavily burnt note, almost like charred meat. This mellowed a little after the whisky had sat for a while, becoming a bit more 'regular whisky' aroma, the oak showing a little more. There's vanilla but not like with the hedonism, this time it's smoky and the spice is up far more than the sweetness in the mix. The palate is dominated by oak, oak and more oak, but some of the spiciness comes through again, with a chunk of dried orange. In the finish it shows its quality, it's extremely long with tantalising fruit coming through that spiced, charred oak.

This was a whisky I couldn't make my mind up about. Like I say there is no denying its quality but it was so different I found it hard to get my head round, and so I have to applaud Compass Box for making challenging, interesting whisky!

Thanks to Michael for sharing the samples.

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