Big Peat Christmas 2015

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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.big peat xmas

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.

Big_Peat_Christmas_2015

Port Askaig 100° Proof

Port Askaig are a range of single malt whiskies released by Speciality Drinks and named after the Port Askaig village on Islay. Since it’s launch in 2009 it has had several different age statements some of which are still available and has included whisky from 3 different Islay distilleries, so good luck pinning down exactly which Islay malt is in your bottle. They have recently launched a 45yo, 30yo, 15yo and the whisky in this review the Port Askaig 100° Proof at 57.1% available from the Whisky Exchange for £44.95.

PA100On the nose it’s very fresh and vibrant, sea spray and brine, charred meat, peat, sliced white bread, barley, damp ash, slight citrus, there is some green apples and gooseberries.

The palate is initially sweet, there is peat and a fruity note followed by salted lemons and lemon sherbert’s, finally there is some cinnamon spice and wood char.

portaskaig_150The finish delivers citrus notes and ash/sooty notes and is slightly drying.

Overall for me this is a whisky which sits in the company of whiskies like Aberlour A’Bunadh and Benromach 100 Proof, good value with plenty to offer.

Lady of the Glen Bunnahabhain 26yo.

logoLady of the Glen founded by Gregor Hannah at the end of 2012, are an independent bottler who’s ethos is to bottle single casks at cask strength and non-chill filtered.                                                                  The Bunnahabhain I’m tasting here is Lady of the Glens first Islay whisky release and is a 26yo distilled on the 16th November 1987, bottled at cask strength 50.01% and is from a refill Bourbon Cask.

Nose, tropical fruit salad, banana, vanilla, hints of lemon and a spiciness tempering the initial sweetness. It develops with summer meadow notes, floral, grassy and hay, also hiding in the background are just a few hints of briny coastal notes.

Palate, fruity, juicy, lemons, black pepper, a nice oak note, a little astringent (makes you want another little sip)

Finish is spicy and dry but with a nice length.

With just a few drops of water added.

Nose develops cream, toffee and some spices cinnamon/nutmeg.

Palate becomes more fruity with an amazing sweet shop sweetness and I found the drying astringent note lessened, for me the water unified the palate.

Finish becomes more fruity and less dry still with a good dose of spice.

This whisky is available to buy here with 205 bottles and available in 70 and 20cl botlles.

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