Thanks to /u/xile_ for the sample.
It’s probably not a surprise at all that people enjoy the Big Peat series. Peatheads are rampant in the whisky scene, as much as taters at times.
So where do you go from a standard blend of Islay whiskies? Well, each Xmas we get a cask strength, with candy canes on the cover. But why stop there? Special editions are a good way to increase revenue, and I’m all for something age stated.
Enter Big Peat 25 The Gold Edition. One of three Vintage expressions, this includes only whiskies 25 years or older.
So we have a winning idea on these ones. Age statement, limited run but not too limited, and all Islay. But just because it all seems like a good idea doesn’t mean it is one. Someone could have poured in very blah older whiskies into this. I guess I’ll have to drink it and write a review, just for you.
I’m a true hero. Let’s see how it tastes, shall we?
Price: Sold out
Cask Type: Oak casks
Number of bottles: 3,000
Colour: 2.5GY 9/6
Nose: Fried banana, cereal, salt air, thyme, lemon zest/candy
Immediate oily and fruity note. Really comes out of the left field. Someone was using Jack Daniel’s barrels.
Nice cereal, some strong salty/brine notes, and even some herbal notes. Water allows the lemon to really, really take over. It’s quite sweet. Not a blast of peat, more developed with time.
Taste: Lemon oil, basil, brine, caramelized orange, banana
More of that lemon and oily notes on the taste. Some burnt notes, more banana. It’s really quite interesting how diverse the flavours are here. You never really stay on something, and each is really strong.
Lemon does take the centre stage here though.
Finish: Caramel, mint, smoke, rosemary, cookie dough
Long finish. Bit simple at first, but it keeps building.
What’s interesting about the finish is it mimics that lovely younger peat finish, yet longer. So you get the bonus of complexity prior to it, and then that flavour that draws us to these Islays.
Water really opens it up and brings it all together with that sweet element.
Conclusion: Lemon candy smoke whisky. Big flavours on this one. It never quite hits the depths of immense complexity, but what it does do is mimic what would happen if someone from Kentucky had to live on Islay. But without the eventual dust-up and manslaughter that would happen because neither of them speaks English.
Joke about poor people that makes me a fucking asshole aside , this is a different take on Islay. I personally would have loved it to be complex all the way through, however, I can’t slag it off that much. I’d be happy to have this as a bottle on my shelf, and it makes me want to hunt down the next two to see how they differ.
Scotch reviews #1125, Blend review #97, Whisky review #1746