Tuesday, January 03, 2012
Style/Region: Blend of Islay and Speyside
Cask Type: American Oak
Water added: Yes
Nose: Heavy peat smoke with hints of brine. After water was added a briney oak with a hint of sweetness overtakes the peat smoke.
Mouth Feel: Delightfully thick and oily.
Flavor: Complex with a peppery oak, and hint of sweetness that is slowly overtaken by a light smooth peat smoke.
Finish: Smooth smoke and peat that lingers.
Overall Impressions: I don’t normally drink blends – I prefer the variety of a good single-malt. However, I have learned over the years that being snobby about blends is a huge mistake – If I were to attempt to make a list of the best Scotch Whisky I’ve ever had, a blend would either be at the top or near it. The Peat Monster is a product of the Compass Box Whisky Company and is part of their Signature Range series of whiskies that highlight the character of Scotch Whisky. The title says it all – this one is about peat. And it’s a good one. In fact, read my impressions of this and then read my impressions of Ardbeg Uigeadail. They are nearly identical. Now, I’m not saying that this is as good as Ardbeg, but it’s close – way closer than I would have imagined. It’s complex – the smoky peat flavor is the star, but subtle sweetness rounds this out. The blend features Islay single malts from the village of Port Askaig, an Islay south shore malt, a smoky malt from the Isle of Mull and a medium-peated Speyside malt.
So, learn the lesson – single malts are great, but don’t disdain the blends. I will happily be sampling the other Signature Ranges offered by Compass Box.