Friday, 31 May 2013

Tasted #23: Big Peat (#101drams)

I knew getting through the #101drams charitable challenge would be, well, a challenge, so I figured I'd need to find a number of different ways to try all the drams, and to keep it interesting. Sure I could probably go and smash through 60% of them in a few months at somewhere like Baxter Inn or Whisky + Alement (and don't get me wrong, bars like those are critical in helping me get through my list!), but I think sometimes I need to mix it up a bit.

So when the kind folks at Douglas Laing & Co (who have recently split into two separate companies) sent me a sample of Big Peat (#81 on my list), I was pretty happy to be able to tick another one off the list, without just going to a bar and paying for it (and in the comfort of my own home with my own Glencairn too)!

Big Peat is a blend of Islay malts, and includes Ardbeg, Caol Ila, Bowmore and Port Ellen. Being a big fan of these distilleries, I was interested to see how they went as a blend (albeit with No Age Statement)...

Big Peat Small Batch Islay Blended Malt Scotch Whisky (46%, NAS, Islay Scotland)

Nose: Light (for an Islay whisky). Big sea salt hit, hints of cinnamon and a slight nuttiness.

Palate: Equally light on the palate, and equally salty. Smoke comes through late in the piece, but the sea air wins out here. Very smooth and very drinkable, but not the big Islay "whack" I was expecting.

Finish: Initially very smoky, but not lingering like say an Ardbeg Galileo. A faint iodine taste lingers a little, but overall I'd call it a pretty short finish.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 88/100. Enjoyable, and very easy-drinking, but not quite what I was expecting (a lot lighter). Having said that, I think this would make an excellent whisky for someone just starting to explore the whiskies of Islay.

A very big thanks again to  Douglas Laing & Co for the sample.

 - Martin.

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