A long day, especially for a weekend day, with the power turned off while I attempt to get some weekend chores down has left me tired and feeling just a little bit irritable.
In order to brighten up my mood I decided to crack open another sample from my Christmas present from my wife, an advent calender of whisky samples from Master of Malt.
24 different whiskies covering various styles, ages, countries, it's been an awesome present so far.
Tonight I decided to go with a first, my first grain whisky!
Compass Box Hedonism.
Now from everything I understand this is a blend of grain whiskies from different distilleries, covering a range of years.
Cameron Bridge, Carsebridge, Cambus aged from 12 to 29 years in first fill ex bourbon casks.
Now for quite a while now I'd heard from many whisky people, not all, but many, that grain whiskies were bad, bitter, not pleasant, cheap filler used in scotch blends such as Chivas and Johnnie Walker, something that no true whisky lover would willingly drink.
However I tend to ignore those kinds of comments unless I've had experiences to back them up so when I saw a sample of Compass Box in my calender I had a giant grin erupt on my face.
When I crack the sample glass and pour it into my glencairn the very first thing I notice is the pale pale yellow that it pours.
The second thing that immediately hits me is the aroma.
You can definitely tell the bourbon cask influence on the whisky, aromas of vanilla and coconut, oak and cinnamon come wafting out of the glass and across the room as I sit here watching the new Masterchef Professional Australia series with my wife.
The vanilla and coconut are so strong that my wife can smell it from across the room as she sits next to me.
A closer nose pulls up some nutmeg, red pepper, hints of citrus and mint beneath it all.
It's a lovely STRONG little nose.
Time for a taste though!
Vanilla, pure and simple is the first thing to hit the palate, feels a little dusty, a tiny bit of chemical flavor, almost like paint thinner, bitter oak, a little metallic, then spicy, a little minty.
Not quite sure what to think of the palate, at times I like it, at times I really dislike it.
The finish starts off bitter with oak and chocolate then goes sweet with cherries, and vanilla.
Interesting whisky, and I'm still not quite sure what I think of it. Part of me enjoyed it, part of me really disliked it. I don't know that I'd bought of it, but I'd be quite happy to try another sample or taste of it. It really seems like a whisky that you'd love or hate, but I'm left feeling odd.
Yes odd is the word to describe me right now, undecided.
I've yet to see this bottle for sell in Australia, except for one shop in Perth and they were selling it for along the lines of $130 to $140 AUS, which at least on this taste, I wouldn't pay for a bottle of this. However if I were to see a bottle of this in a bar I'd happily buy a dram to try it out once more!
Grab a bottle of this if you're looking for something a little different and don't mind shelling out a bit of cash, however if you're watching your whisky money closely, I'd keep looking.