Compass Box has always championed equality in the workplace and is also at the forefront of changing the way people think about whisky with progressive campaigns and thought-provoking releases. Our first desert island dram would have to be Hedonism, the blended grain that started it all for them, which really opened eyes to the charm of grain whiskies. In fact, the woman printed on its label was very possibly the first to feature on a Scotch whisky bottle. Hedonism is silky, smooth and rich, with notes of vanilla, toffee, honey and cocoa which we love with a cube of ice. There will be an ice machine on our island, right?
This whisky reminds us of eating banana flambée with vanilla ice cream. With notes of coconut, vanilla and toffee apples, this is the whisky we’ll be drinking on our island when the nights get cold and we need a delicious warmer-upper. We also love the woman behind Brenne, Allison Parc, a true inspiration and the recent Icons of Whisky Rest of World, World Whisky Ambassador of the Year. Her determination and energy alone are reason enough to enjoy this French single malt.
12 Years Old
Aberfeldy 12 is one of our all-time faves made by the talented Bacardi malts blender Stephanie Macleod. It’s a super approachable and easy drinking whisky with a massive honeyed richness that we love on its own or mixed. We’ll crack open a coconut and pour in a slug of this whisky for an Island Aberfeldy 12 Coconut Water highball as an afternoon sunbathing treat. If you haven’t tried whisky and coconut water, do it!
8 Years Old
There really is no better whisky to be drinking by the sea than a peated, maritime malt like Lagavulin. The Islay distillery is in fact run by one of the most inspirational women in Scotch whisky, Georgie Crawford. We know she loves to pack up her caravan and get away for a night with a bottle of Lagavulin in tow, so we’d have to raise a dram to her from our own little adventure. We’d have to choose the new eight-year-old release, which is light, sweet, smoky and easy-to-drink, showing that maturity isn’t always about a high age statement. Best enjoyed as the sun starts to set and we try frantically to build a campfire, it may come in useful!
DCS Compendium 1961 (from Chapter 3)
We’d save this for that moment when we realise we’re never going to get rescued. By that point all the coconuts and saltwater are going to be a bit grating, so we’ll be frantic for the 1961s juicy tropical fruits and dessert-like pastry notes. This has a magic ability to transport you to a different time and place – sat on the grassy banks of the Dufftown distillery on a spring day back in the sixties. You can practically smell the malt bins being emptied as the scent of blossoming fruit trees wafts by.
A brief final luxury
If there’s no ice machine then we’ll have one of those, otherwise a bottle of Champagne for when we’re all out of whisky. How often do you get the chance to be marooned on a desert island? We say make the most of it!