With a name like that, this blended malt scotch whisky has a lot to live up to! Here Compass Box have married malts from 4 of the biggest peat players out there with the final product comprised of 40% Laphroaig (Hogshead), 20% Ledaig (Hogshead), 13% Caol Ila (Hogshead), and 26% Ardmore (Hogshead). The keen-eyed reader here would notice that this only totals 99% and the reason for this is because Compass Box then save a small quantity of a Clynelish, Dailuaine and Teaninich vatted malt whisky which has been matured in a ‘burgundy toast’ barrel to remove the peat’s more astringent element from the final finish (see here). This concoction is all then married together and bottled at 46% ABV.
Nose: An instant light and floral peat. Despite the story about the highland malted blend removing that astringency, it certainly still has that Laphroaig iodine note to it but is not overpowering – definitely not a monster as yet, but it has still got a growl.
Taste: Now there’s no holding back. It’s all smoke upfront. It’s a nice, dry smoke. More like a smoked German sausage than a raging peaty bonfire. Sweet and fruity flavours rest under the veil of smoke.
Finish: Whilst the whisky disappears quickly, the peat smoke stays around for a while. A really floral peat at that.
Verdict: Whilst being a Peat Monster by name, let’s be honest: there are peatier whiskies our there. Its probably fair to say that the various Octomores have well and truly taken that crown BUT that’s not what this is about. This is about delivering peat and more. The whisky is light and has floral, fruity, and sweet flavours beneath. It’s not to say that this doesn’t have a fair amount of smoke going for it too. To give it a musical comparison, it’s got more of a prog rock flavour than a full peaty death metal blow out, and what’s not to like about that?