Recently I made a point of stating that, if given an Arran, I’d identify the profile. This started both devoz and xile_ thinking, which is never good for me.
You see, recently devoz acquired a smoke gun. From what little I understand of it, it’s a gun that shoots smoke. Because he’s amazing at cocktails. And that’s needed.
So they took this as a challenge. What I should have said was “I can identify an Arran profile from a whisky that hasn’t been fucked around with, specifically by a smoke gun”. Oh well, hindsight.
As such, I was handed three samples, blind. No idea what they were. At all. I knew they were alcohol, and samples to be reviewed. Beyond that? Could have been anything.
Up first, we have the World Whisky of the bunch. Welcome to the Smoked Series.
Let’s see how this tastes.
Price: N/A anywhere
Nose: Earth, deli meat, coal, cigarette ash
Okay, so it’s clear and it tastes like smoke. I was told I’d never guess it in a million years. As such, I’m guessing it’s a Mezcal. There’s some meatiness, some ash. It tastes young, probably never been in a cask before.
Lots of earth to it too.
Taste: Mint, lime zest, smoke, corn
Alright, more effects of the smoke here. There’s some spice to this as well. I’m going to assume the odd methods of smoking in Mexico has something to do with this.
I am incorrect on that guess. The spice was from the base spirit, which managed to handle the smoke.
Finish: Anise, white pepper, cricket flour (somewhere between cumin and cinnamon), mint
Yes, I’ve had cricket flour. No, I didn’t make it myself. No, I won’t do your kid’s birthday (off topic, just thought it was a good time to bring it up).
There’s more spice here, less smoke. I think that means a specific type of Mezcal, right? (No).
Conclusion: So let’s get down to this. I thought this was Mezcal. it wasn’t. Turns out it was smoked with Canadian peat and lapsang souchong.
Get that around your head.
My original review had none of the spice, none of the smoke, and some of the earth. Mix the earth together with smoke and in my mind, which has had very, very few Mezcal’s, I assume it’s from Mexico. At least I didn’t guess it was Kahlua. Small victories.
Based on comparisons to my last review of this malt, I think the smoke dominated too much. I’d be interested to see what the peat did by itself, or in the process of malting the rye. I think it would add an interesting dimension to their whisky. That said, not too much. Maybe go the Bunnahabhain route.
Guess: Mezcal Espadin White from Oaxaca
Reveal: Park Glacier Rye smoked in Canadian peat and lapsang souchong
World Whisky review #269, Canada review #94, Whisky Network review #1195