Compass Box Art & Decadence

Compass Box Art & Decadence

Art & Decadence is part of the 2023 releases from Compass Box. This blended whisky is designed as a luxurious after-dinner dram.

It contains mostly single malt whiskies: 42% of Balmenach from Sauternes, Marsala and Madeira casks, 24% of Glen Moray from Oloroso butts and 14% of Linkwood from Palo Cortado butts. This solid malt base combines with 20% of grain whisky from Port Dundas (refill sherry). As always Compass Box shares the full details on its website.


Compass Box Art & Decadence (49%, OB 2023, 9126 btl.)

Nose: mild toffee, hints of bay leaves and bread (dough), as well as clay, red apples and Seville oranges. Then there is some leafy / herbal element, maybe eucalyptus, and a touch of mossy resin. Whiffs of mulled wine and liquorice. Also plaster and tart berries. Really characterful, although perhaps a little on the winey side.

Mouth: mixed dried fruits. Apricots, autumn apple, some cinnamon and clove. The wine can’t be missed now, especially the Marsala or Madeira. Dark chocolate notes, black peppercorns, hints of wet oak. Lightly bitter herbal tea and walnuts.

Finish: medium long, mostly on chocolate, spiced wine and musty wood.

A sweet, herbal and autumnal style of whisky. Always nice to try more Balmenach, even in a blend. I’ve often wondered whether you could trace down the preferences of whiskymaker John Saxon who composed this whisky and I can’t stop thinking this is far more winey than what John Glaser would have made. Not for beginners, but nice. Available from The Whisky Exchange or Tyndrum Whisky for instance.