Review No.165. Compass Box Hedonism

Today it is the turn of Hedonism.  This is Compass Box’s flagship blended grain offering and the intention with this is to show how characterful grain whisky can be.  Grain whiskies are looked down upon in general as they are cheap to make and are used as filler for blended whiskies in the main.  Grain whiskies can be made from any number of grains such as wheat or corn whereas single malt whiskies can only be made from barley.  This means that you would expect to find flavours such as vanilla, caramel and butterscotch.  Hedonism is made of single grain from two different lowland distilleries and matured in first fill american oak barrels.  I expect this to be quite flavoursome.


Whisky: Hedonism Blended Grain Scotch Whisky, 43%

Nose: Vanilla fudge, toffee, buttercream, ice cream, syrup, popcorn

Taste: Candy, corn, vanilla, grapefruit, lemon rind, burnt toast, coconut

Finish: Caramel and grapefruit

Score: 2.75

Summary: This is quite a characterful grain whisky but it still does not compare to single malts.  Think of this as a light bourbon with a touch of sourness.  The flavours are pleasant and the sourness is a nice addition rather than an unwanted distraction.  Overall the delivery is soft and you need to search for some flavours.  Water opens it up but also softens it further so be cautious with how much you use.  Give this time and you will also start noticing the flavours develop.  The only grain whisky I have tried is Haig Club and Haig Clubman and in comparison do not even come close to Hedonism.  If you are curious about grain whisky and don’t mind spending £60+ then it is worth a try.



Scoring scale: My scores reflect a balance of the overall experience, availability and cost for a whisky,

1 – not to my preference

2 – tastes fine but does not excite me

3 – more to my liking and would revisit occasionally

4 – very much to my liking and would consider as a regular feature on my whisky shelf

5 – permanent feature on my whisky shelf


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