Taste test: Big Peat blended Islay whisky


Interesting bottle art on Big Peat blended Islay

I love me a wee dram of Islay whisky. In its best rendition, it remind me of a pair of gym socks which have been washed in the salt water of the cold northern sea, drenched with sweat (and maybe a bit of blood) during an intense rugby game, then dried over a peaty fire. (Thus I don’t like Laphroig, a mass produced brand which reminds me of the sweat without the other nuances.)

I have tasted heaven in the 1991 Bowmore aged in Port barrels. I still have parts of two bottles, squirreled away on opposite coasts, and don’t expect to finish them before I expire. I’ve bought other, expensive bottles and more often than not have been disappointed. Typically, the Scotch is too mild: it doesn’t have the peaty bite which I demand.

Which brings me to Big Peat, which I found on the wonderful klwines.com site. A blended Islay? Ridiculous. But also fantastic. It’s got the peat essence just right, followed by a bizarrely smooth, Dewar’s-style finish which I will forgive because I like Dewar’s. And because it’s a blend it should be available for awhile, unlike other single-cask marvels which excite, then disappear.

This is a product plug with nothing in it for me other than making you happy. Get it at K&L for $56 plus a modest shipping cost (but no tax if you are out of CA). In case they’re sold out, google it. Seems to be widely available which is a good thing.

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