‘Art & Decadence’ Scotch Was Made Using Madeira, Sauternes & Marsala Wine Casks

Compass Box’s decidedly decadent new Scotch was made using dessert wine casks.

(Compass Box)

Boasting an intricately-designed label and a rakish title, this limited-edition “Art & Decadence” Scotch whisky from Compass Box should make for a handsome addition to any liquor cabinet or bar cart.

Inspired by the late-19th Century Aesthetic and Decadent Movements, the latest Compass Box release “sought to channel the age of excess and abundance into a rich, succulent whisky that would complement the end of a meal, with notes of dried fruit, vanilla, dark chocolate and fragrant oak,” according to a statement from the brand.

The $180 bottle is meant to be a collector’s edition with only 9,496 available worldwide. Uniquely, it features a 49% ABV spirit made using a combination of Madeira, Sauternes and Marsala wine casks.

James Saxon, Lead Whiskymaker at Compass Box, used a foundation of whisky from the Balmenach Distillery, finished separately for nearly a year in those three dessert-friendly wine casks, embodying the Balmenach with preserved fruit notes and a honeyed flavor. The blend also contains whiskies from the Linkwood, Glen Moray, and Port Dundas distilleries.

“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,” Saxon said in a statement announcing the bottle.

“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 casks.” 

The Art & Decadence bottle arrives in a suitably maximalist label and box “inspired by the beauty, excess and ornamentation that defined the Aesthetic and Decadent Movements.”

The head-turning bottle is available nationwide beginning November 1.