Hey internetz, are you ready for some whiskey that will blow the brain right out of your head? Great. Hold on to your butt and read Part II of our Compass Box Whiskey Review. If you haven’t already, read Part I.
Just when I thought I had tried the best of Compass Box with Peat Monster, things get better with Spice Tree and Hedonism. Spice Tree is a big fucking whiskey…and apparently the innovative barreling practices of Compass Box’s Whiskeymaker, John Glaser, were not appreciated by the Whiskey Police (SWA).
Okay, so, if you didn’t know there are definitely Whiskey police…well not police, but there is a governing body that determines a lot of whiskey rules. This governing body is the Scotch Whisky Association (or SWA). While Barreling Spice Tree, the whiskeymaker decided to try something new by putting flat oak staves into used whiskey barrels. This doesn’t sound like too big a deal, but this is something no one has done before and, erring on the side of conservatism, the SWA threatened legal action. SWA…what is wrong with you?
Compass Box had to back down, who has the funds to combat the whiskey police in court? Not me…not anyone. So Compass Box laid off the Spice Tree for a bit, but being the Whiskey Geniuses they are, they developed an alternative way to create a similar flavor profile to the original “illegal” Spice Tree.
Having never had the original, I can’t say much about that, but Spice Tree I did have was hella good. Here are some notes.
Blended malt scotch whiskey
Nose: oak, vanilla, alcohol
Palate: rich, vanilla, spices, caramel, lemon, malty
Finish: crazy spicy, lingering vanilla,
Spice Tree is a big whiskey, there’s a lot going on in this one. The oak really comes through in the nose big time. I definitely recommend just adding a drop of water to the glass as it really opens up the sweeter creamier notes of the whiskey. I’d probably give this one a solid 4/5.
Alright, while not illegal or being cracked down on by whiskey Nazis…er…whiskey police… We also had the opportunity to try Compass Box Hedonism. Hedonism doesn’t have a crazy story surrounding it, but in tasting it, you’ll see why. No one, Nazi or otherwise, would ever try to ban something so fucking good.
Blended grain scotch whiskey
Nose: Vanilla, oak, fruit
Palate: Vanilla, creamy, toffee, soft
Finish: Spice, warm, more toffee, smooth
Hedonism is smooth and creamy. Really, more of a desert. Compass Box themselves recommend it as an aperitif and I would tend to agree. Sipping this after a meal is probably the best thing in the world. Without a doubt, Hedonism is one of the most distinct whiskeys we’ve tried. 5/5