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?
The Peat Monster
Categories: Compass Box, Tasting Notes
Tags: Blend, Blended Whisky, Compass Box, Islay, malt, Peat, Peated, scotch, Scotch Whisky, The Peat Monster, whisky
English Whisky Co – Chapter 9 (Peated)
Based down in Norfolk, the English Whisky Co has been making ripples in single malt production as England’s primary whisky distillers. Their marketing from day one has been very clever as it invites people along the distillery’s own journey and development, by inviting drinkers to enjoy each “chapter” within their whisky making book. The Chapter 9 release is their second peated expression, and being such, their first readily available release (with the first one – Chapter 8 – having sold out pretty quickly!), which has been matured solely in ex-bourbon casks and has been bottled at 46% ABV.
M: Dry smoke. Pretty gentle, and ‘clean’ smoke, Bit of oak in there too. There’s a sweet, tingly smell there too, that reminds me of Parma Violets.
M: Really firey. Fresh. Young. Then, when you’ve got used to the booze, there is malt and caramel. After a bit of time and/or a bit of water it mellows to a smooth caramel flavour with a gentle smoky backbone. Like the tingly sweetness of “fruit” flavour sweets like love hearts. Just a touch of the Laphroaig medicinal/iodine about it.
M; Fantastic peat embers. That firey kick subsides and coats the throat with a silky sweet texture and a good smoky aftertaste. Great balance.
M: I’ve tried a few of the English Whisky Co’s chapters now but this is the first time I’ve tried a peated one and I like what I’ve tasted here! It’s not a smoky heavyweight but it’s far from being bantam! (I even found myself groaning at that one). Overall it is pretty light, refreshing and has that surprising characteristic of more-ish for a smoked whisky. My preference is usually to leave a smoky dram until the end of the night and just have the one, but this is one that I could definitely get back in the ring with for a second round. I’m not exactly getting “salty chips” like the Dram Team’s tasting notes though, but am happy to have another go.
Categories: Tasting Notes, The English Whisky Co
Tags: Bourbon, Chapter 9, England, English Whisky, English Whisky Co, English Whisky Company, Ex-Bourbon, Norfolk, Peated, Single, Single Malt, Single Malt Whisky