Posts Tagged With: Peat

Tasting Notes: The English Whisky Co – Chapter 16 – Peated Sherry Cask

The English Whisky Co – Chapter 16

Okay, so for those of you who have read our previous post about the WU visit to the English Whisky Co’s new shop/café/chutney-outlet, you will know that we weren’t exactly blown away by their hospitality (see here, if not). Having said that, it didn’t stop the wallets coming out and bottles being bought.

After surveying the scene, I went all-in on the Chapter 16 Smokey PX Cask Matured chap! So let’s open the box… and the first thing we’re hit with is a message telling us to enjoy…good start!

Nose

Boom…no doubt we have a young’un here…phew I can tell from the nose that water is gonna be a necessary addition here, however like the whisky soldier I am I persevere. Yep there’s sherry here and it’s flowing through like mist through a valley of peat. (So poetic it hurts…) Smoke, yes, but not overwhelming. For newbies to peated whisky this isn’t one to fear. There is also a freshly harvested gain hint as well, especially if you rub a bit on your hands, yep I do that, weirdo I know! It’s fair to say that that could be it for the nose, but let it warm up and revisit it and there’s more depth, oak tones almost fruity red wines or, dare I say, a faint hit of mulled wine.

Taste

Okay so there’s the proof that water is needed, because it’s lively and even a little pokey but overall, satisfyingly tasty. Fruit cake, glacé cherries, a definite sherry hint and then there it is that smoke (obvs, as the kids would say). It’s not a thick whack around the head like an Ardbeg 10 or Bruichladdich Octomore but rather a wafting of smoke from the croft’s fire. I likey it’s a tasty chap that’s for sure.

Finish

It has a finish, and that’s a good thing! For me it’s a “more, more, more” finish. I instantly want to go in again for another sip. However, I resist and a short but pleasing warmth builds and the embers of smoke and a touch of sweetness hang around for you to enjoy.

Verdict

So let’s sum this little English Whisky imposter up. I’m gonna say it…it’s too expensive. There…elephant in the room mentioned. I am not saying it’s cheap tasting because it certainly isn’t, it’s a quality spirit, but just not £49 worth. It is a perfect winter’s night, fireside companion. Its more-ish with plenty of flavour to keep you happy but it doesn’t have real depths like other peaty numbers. Then again, maybe it’s not meant to be competing with those big boys. Chapter 16 – Peated Sherry Cask is definitely still in short trousers, but who doesn’t still wanna be running around in short trousers…..?

8/10

T

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Tasting Notes: Compass Box – The Peat Monster

Compass Box Range – The Peat Monster

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?

J&M

The Peat Monster

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Tasting Notes: Laphroaig – 10 Years Old

Laphroaig

Laphroaig

Laphroaig (“La-froyg”) is a distillery that bookends the 3 big peaty players on the south-east coast of Islay and is renowned worldwide for its peaty and malty taste that is best demonstrated by its flagship 10 year old expression. The first thing that is striking, before you even get to the liquid itself, is the rather alien looking word and it’s distinctive black and white label on a green bottle. It instantly displays elegance and class and has a mysterious, cult like feel. And why is that? Because when you open it: BOOM!!! The stuff is liquid dynamite. It’s big, it’s bold, it’s unique and it can only be called Laphroaig.

ABV: 40%

 

Nose

M: Little burn, rounded peat smell with sea air and malt.

S: Can you get an island in a nose? You sure can when it’s Laphroaig! Pure Islay, smooth balance between peat, smoke and salt.

T: Not many whiskies are so evocative on the nose, L10 is just everything Islay! Smoky, strong, fresh, heathers, salty with hints of licorice.

 

Taste

M: Full flavoured, vanilla, oak, digestive biscuit, slight sea salt, then pow! The peat gets you. It delivers the peat smoke and the charred ex-bourbon barrel.

S: The sweet and peaty flavours are perfectly balanced. There is a softness that belies that overall punch.

T: Boom….followed by another boom! Flavours fired at you at a million miles an hour and all of them great! Very rounded and smooth with rough edge. Smoky peat hits, woods and biscuity…oh and the charred remains of burnt biscuits from the oven too.

 

Finish

M: Smooth, lingering and smoky to the max.

S: The sweet and peaty flavours are perfectly balanced. There is a softness that belies that overall punch.

T: After the initial burn a smooth sweet, peaty and smoky flavour hangs and intensifies and changes. You can feel the flavours dancing around your mouth for an age!

 

Verdict

M: For me, this is THE entry-level Islay whisky. Full of flavour, texture and peat. A treat from start to finish. You’ll never forget it and you’ll always come back.

S: Islay engineering at its best for an entry-level whisky.

T: A whisky collection isn’t a whisky collection without L10! Oh but Laphroaig please cut the “Mit Karamel” crap!!! 

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