Big Peat from Douglas Laing is a popular Blended Islay malt that is bottled at 46% ABV, without colouring or chill filtration. At Christmas they like to roll out the barrel a little and treat us to a cask strength edition of Big Peat Christmas, the 2015 version is the 5th release in the series and contains whisky from Ardbeg, Coal Ila, Bowmore and Port Ellen and bottled at 53.8% ABV and is limited to 3,000 cases and is available globally from specialist whisky stores and the Douglas Laing website here.
So now for the all important taste test, on the nose, first things first obviously there is peat, plenty of seaweed and sea spray, it’s almost coastal. There is also a freshness under the peat, limes, maybe some green herbs. With a little water there is more of an ashy note and ground white pepper.
The palate is vibrant, there are lemon sherbert’s, ash, vanilla sugar and brine with water there is almost a sweet chilli effect, the sweetness is more prominent but with a wave of spicy heat coming after.
On the finish it is slightly drying, it almost feels as if I’ve got some ash in my mouth and there is a lingering taste of salted lemons.
So it’s coming up to that time of year when children get excited by the annual Christmas countdown, generally starting in December with the opening of their advent calendars to reveal a piece of chocolate. This year my wife has treated me to this advent calendar.Now there is nothing wrong with this as an advent calendar, as it happens I’m rather partial to some Niederegger marzipan but what I really wanted was one of these spirit filled advent calendars from Drinks by the Dram. The whisky calendar was originally released in 2012 and this year features amongst it’s 24 dram’s, a rare 50-year-old Scotch and an award-winning Japanese whisky. Each handmade, wax-sealed dram allows whisky fans to sample a new whisky, tasting everything from single grain whisky to rare Scotch worth up to £350 a bottle.
The Drinks by the Dram calendars are designed to take you on a journey of discovery through the fascinating world of your favourite spirit, introducing you to rare and unusual expressions you may never have tried. This year they have unveiled a line up of calendars ranging through whisky, gin, cognac, absinthe, mezcal and vodka to the rather insane sounding naga chilli vodka calendar (this is not on my christmas list).The full range of calendars can be found here and range in price from £99.95 up to £999.95 for the old and rare whisky calendar, containing whiskies worth up to £2,000 a bottle, including a 60-year-old Single Malt – one of the oldest whiskies in the world.