“Hedonism” has an unhealthy sin-drenched set of associations with it: one imagines lounging in a hot tub in the foothills, surrounded by nubile young androgynes and voluptuous, zaftig non-androgynes, nibbling on delectably ripe, pip-less raspberries, having the finest of drinks poured down your throat as the sun slowly sets over the Pacific (or Atlantic, should you be in France, or more improbably, Scotland). Conversely, you could just picture drab economists gloating about hedon increases as they quantify human pleasure as a gauge of the frequency of and engine driving business transactions. Meh.
Behold the Compass Box! Sledgehammer of the Gods, Revoker of Long-Held Associations and Insinuations, the Poetry-Maker of the Senses! Did the crafty mix-master DJ Compass Box have the name first and create a flavor profile to match, or did DJ CB alchemize this magical elixir first, and then realize that its husky, dusky sensuality, its Rubenesque rotundity, required the name “Hedonism”?
Nosing the Hedonism Limited Release invites a journey to feudal Japan where a hibiscus-, narcissus- and jasmine-wearing geisha carefully minces to your table carrying a recently-lacquered serving platter adorned with slices of saguaro cacti wrapped in raw silk. Since this is your phantasmagoria, you manage to show no surprise when the scent of burning vinyl from Studio 54 wafts your way.
On the mouth, you briefly wonder what possibly could have nipped you to Spain’s clementine groves, where Anita Bryant (yes, that Anita Bryant) and Jose Carreras serenade you with the exuberant drinking duet from La Traviata, “Libiamo ne’ lieti calici“. You briefly ponder burying your face in either her breast or his, but opt instead for the crotch of one of the trees, home to a rat’s nest, a mare’s nest, or more probably a bird’s nest of carefully gathered oak twigs and strands of musky fabric. Transported, you cry, “Bring me a whiskey sour! Without the sour! (and without that pesky ‘e’ tucked in between the ‘k’ and the ‘y’).” It is impossibly nectar-y, defying the laws of physics, because you are in the Garden of the Piper at the Gates of Dawn.
A pecan/roast hazelnut mash-up on the back end is quickly overshadowed by grapefruit rinds soaked in Gran Marnier and smokey bacon, minus the bacon. Orange pekoe tea sips, without the pekoe, and sangria, without the ‘sang’ or the ‘ria,’ both polka and square-dance on your tongue accompanied by Microplane-zested lime angels.
On the scale of improbable yet remarkable accomplishments–
The Compass Box Hedonism Limited Release is the Dionysius 11 moonshot–Okay, we all know that it was Apollo 11, but it should have been Dionysius, igniting all manner of revelry and romping with Artemis, Armstrong, and Aldrin, the AAA of Amazing.