Compass Box is diving head first into opulence and luxury with the launch of Art & Decadence. The new limited-edition blended malt whisky is inspired by the late 19th Century Aesthetic and Decadent Movements.
To compose Compass Box Art & Decadence, lead whiskymaker James Saxon used a foundation of malt whisky from the Balmenach Distillery, finished separately for almost a year in three different ex-wine casks, Madeira, Sauternes and Marsala, each of which are at home with dessert. Layered into the expression is malt whisky from the Linkwood Distillery, aged in Palo Cortado sherry-seasoned butts, and malt whisky from the Glen Moray Distillery, finished in Oloroso sherry-seasoned butts, while grain whisky from the now-closed Port Dundas Distillery adds silk and gloss.
“This is a rich and potent whisky, designed for dessert and decadent behavior, with wine cask influence that stops just short of being over-the-top,” says Saxon. “We have taken glossily sweet grain whiskies and combined them with unpeated malt whiskies matured in American oak barrels, custom French oak casks, and not one but three different types of dessert wine cask. Like we said, more is more.”
On the nose, the Scotch is seriously rich and aromatic with red apples, waxed wood, and wine notes found alongside aromas of liquorice, banana, toffee, and custard blended with Sauternes. The palate delivers notes of dried fruit–golden raisin and apricot–apple and plenty of vanilla; along with lasting flavors of dark chocolate shavings and fragrant oak.
To complement the whisky, the bottles bear a label and outer packaging inspired by the beauty, excess and ornamentation that defined the Aesthetic and Decadent Movements.
Coming in at 49% ABV, just 9,496 bottles of Compass Box Art & Decadence will be available beginning November 1 for the price of $180 per 700ml. For more information, head over to the brand’s official website.
Last month, Compass Box unveiled the third limited-edition expression in its Extinct Blends Quartet, Metropolis.