Most of the whisky that is consumed in the world is grain whisky, and yet, it has always been in the back seat compared to malts. John Glaser started out a decade and a half ago with a grain blend distilled in any of these distilleries: Cameron Bridge and the now mothballed Carsebridge, Cambus, Port Dundas or Dumbarton distilleries. As Carsebridge was closed since the infamous 1983, we can get a general idea of how long some of these whiskies have been maturing.
To celebrate Compass Box’s 15th anniversary, a special edition of Hedonism was released, the Quindecimus. In a quite unorthodox, yet most Glaserly move, the actual was released, from which we learn that the age statement on this expression should be 20 years old, as it contains 17.6% North British 20 year old and 19.4% 20 year old grain whisky from Port Dundas, plus another 36.6% 25 year old whisky from Port Dundas. Additionally, 8.4% comes from 28 year old Dumbarton and the final 18% comes from a pre-blended 32 year old grain whisky from Loch Lomond. All the barrels are ex bourbon, and just over a third of the liquid is from currently operational distilleries with almost two thirds of it from closed ones (Loch Lomond and North British are active, while Dumbarton closed in 2002 and Port Dundas in 2010).
Compass Box Hedonism Quindecimus, Blended Grain Whisky (46% ABV, NCF, NC)
Appearance: Gold with a residual ring and very slow legs.
Nose: Lots of vanilla, honey, hay, gentle spice, confectionery, marshmallow, quite a bourbon like nose, warm open fields and a light vinegar note.
Palate: Sweet very bourbon like, vanilla, oak, sweet notes, white pepper, corn grain spirit. The whisky is very gentle on the palate.
Linger: Sweetness on the tongue with a mild spiciness in the back of the throat. The sweetness feels like after sucking a candy, with a long linger.
Drinking this will take you straight to thinking of the high end bourbons matured in the cooler parts of warehouses. The corn distillate is present in this grain blend, but it comes through gently.
Like the other products coming out of the Compass Box, this is a very well crafted and is a nice way to celebrate a decade and a half of operations. Happy Birthday, Compass Box!
Official sample was provided by the Compass Box.