There is something charming about limited editions. They represent that which is low yield, excellent and desirable. Limited releases and editions offer a peek into an exclusive world inhabited by the privileged and fortunate. What I like about whisky is that limited editions and releases are not always priced excessively highly. Some like the Lagavulin 12 year old and the stunner that is Aberlour's A'bunadh are not only good value for money but thanks to being batch released not too difficult to source. Other bottlings such as the drinkable Snow Phoenix from Speyside distillers Glenfiddich was very limited but not overly expensive. This isn't to say all limited release whiskies are inexpensive and available or what would be the point? But whisky unlike many other luxury products is one where at any price bracket you can experience some exclusivity if you look hard enough.
The joy of limited editions is knowing that you are a member of a clique who have tried the whisky and that in years to come the whisky will be mostly extinct. The icing on the cake is that limited editions are often of a higher quality, although this is arguable. Recently, I got to try a limited release I thought I had missed the chance to try. Better still I had only just become re-acquainted with its standard release brother the Compass Box Hedonism. The whisky I was lucky enough to be offered was the limited release Hedonism Maximus. A blended grain whisky of superb quality and old age (I was told minimum of 37 years). Here is what I thought of both the standard and the limited release:
43% - Blended Grain Whisky - Bottled by Compass Box
Nose: Coconut and a slight almondy character complimented with vanilla and a medicinality.
Palate: Light but very rich with toffee and syrupy vanilla sweetness.
Finish: Fairly hot with a clear spiciness.
Overall: An example in how grain whisky can excel, perfect dessert whisky or digestif.
46% - 37 Year Old - Blended Grain Whisky - Bottled by Compass Box
Nose: Roses arrive first tailed by a sweet sugary syrup with raspberry colis.
Palate: Light with that sweet richness of the standard release enhanced with summer fruits cutting through the swirling sweetness.
Finish: Intense vanilla holding its own for a good time to come.
Overall: I really enjoy the standard release Hedonism, but the Maximus leaps ahead with its rose, raspberry and summer fruits combination that lend it a complexity that makes this syrupy dram stand out from its peers.