Pitter-patter, can you hear the grain?

Tonight we [Whiskyshare’s first meet], gave the Hedonism ‘Maximus’ from Compass Box a run for it’s money. It’s comprised of a 42yo Invergordon [70%], the remainder being a 29yo Carsebridge, both of which were matured in first-fill ex-bourbon. So, let’s begin with a younger [though really not young], appetiser.

Cameronbridge 1979/2009 30yo DT ‘Rare Auld’ cask #3585 [206 bts] 51.9% WB82[1] WF87 WMx

Cameronbridge 1979.jpg

  • N: Immediately likeable nutty grain with a rice sweetness, light waxy fruits, vanilla ice cream, dessert fruits, rum…. and much more
  • T: More distillate led than I would normally like from a grain but this one is special indeed, displaying lovely sugars and rich esters. Though there’s little mutation, there are instead continuous waves of intent and forward movement throughout, with good body, form and mouthfeel. Very decent.
  • F: Long seeping finish, first on chocolate [50% cocoa] before concluding with hedge leaves & vanilla with a bitter-sweet edge.
  • C: Really good, love it.

Scores 88 points

Next we tried an oldie Invergordon for a good comparison alongside the Compass Box ‘Maximus’ to come.

Invergordon 1964/2009 40yo Private Cellar [Forbes Ross & Co.] 43% WB0 WFx WMx

invergordon 1964.jpg

  • N: A grain with notes of emulsion, varnish and methylated spirits [as good age would indicate], but there are additional notes of wild strawberries, a selection of fruity gelateria with caramel, malt biscuits and cream soda – drenched in soft yet permeating oak.
  • T: A bold start, given the level and age of the open bottle, arriving in one block. There’s roughness here brought on by the decades of oak. It’s tasty no doubt but also a bit muddled and befuddled. Medium-thin mouthfeel.
  • F: Treacle heavy with more strawberries and oak.
  • C. One of the first and oldest Invergordon there is. A bit tired [in the bottle], and slightly over-oaked overall but still very tasty.

Scores 83 points

Compass Box Hedonism ‘Maximus’ btl. 2008 [1500 bts] 46% WB87.25[6] WF85 WM84[12]

Compass Box Maximus.jpg

  • N: Similar to the Cameronbridge with it’s character, fruitiness and oak-to-malt levels. Lovely sugars. Wheat<corn.
  • T: Good spirit [as always from CB], with keen and supportive oak. Well balanced, well composed.
  • F: Light finish with some caramel.
  • C: It’s a very fine and competent dram [if a little straight ahead], with that signature CB style. Tonight however it was overshadowed by the Cameronbridge.

Scores 85 points

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