Single malt whisky - tasting notes

13 Dec 2010

Big Peat

Posted by: Ruben Luyten In: * Blends

Big Peat is a vatting of four Islay distilleries: Ardbeg, Caol Ila, Bowmore and Port Ellen. The fact that it contains older whisky from Port Ellen, makes this an unusual offering. While other bottlers can’t afford to use Port Ellen in a vatting or a blend, for Douglas Laing it’s not a problem as they have one of the largest stocks of this legendary distillery.

Note that Big Peat is such a success that they’re now somewhere around batch number 7 or 8, probably with (small) differences between them. As far as I know, there’s no way to recognize which batch you’re buying.

 

Big PeatBig Peat (46%, Douglas Laing 2010)

Nose: a summary of Islay, with salty peat, some vanilla and a great aniseed note. Some mocha. Overall rather sweet with a big emphasis on tarry notes. On top of this, I get some youngish fruit like pear and peach, which reminds me of Ardbeg Rollercoaster in a way. Nice ambiguity of younger and older elements. Mouth: very smokey and ashy. Quite explosive with a rubbery edge. Big peat indeed. Sweet liquorice and again some vanilla. Not much fruit here. Finish: peat and smoke. Slowly drying.

A benchmark Islay vatting. You get heavy peat but a charming vanilla sweetness as well to round it off. A bottle should cost around € 40 which is very good value.

Score: 86/100

Big Peat 3.5 Ruben Luyten 2010-12-13
  • http://www.whiskybrother.com WhiskyBrother

    They have just starting bringing this baby into South Africa, and it is at a very good price as well. Can’t wait to give it a try.

  • http://whiskyisrael.co.il gal

    I have a bottle which cost around $50 for 1 liter. a good deal, and i really enjoy this one.

    a must for any peat-head. when you need your ‘fix’ you go and reach for this daddy-o.

  • http://rawdram.blogspot.com/ James

    Wow, I have seen this but there is so much on my buy and sample list that it hasn’t come close to getting purchased. But if it is as good as you guys are saying, then at that price its definitely worth a try. Thanks

  • Thomas

    Hi Ruben,

    did you hear anything about the upcoming Big Peat Christmas Edition in Cask Strength?
    That combination sounds promising to me…
    Rumour has it that it’s limited to 6.000 bottles in total, 600 of which should go to Germany.
    However, I have only found it in very few UK webshops so far.

    Regards,
    Thomas

  • http://www.whiskynotes.be Ruben

    That’s news to me as well… should be interesting indeed.

  • http://bwhisky.free.fr Bastien

    I bought a bottle yesterday.
    We are now batch 21 !

    (it is printed on my bottle)

  • Chris

    $63 at Dan Murphy in Australia and a good example of a “Peat” whisky it is not. Have not met anyone who has liked it yet. Laphroaig Quarter Cask does not have competition. Peat bouquet but it is thin and very acidic. The one and only purchase!

  • WhiskyNotes

    Chris remember this comes in batches so your batch may be totally different than the one I reviewed (which was the first one). The first batches were beautiful vattings and have been widely applauded, maybe they’re going downhill now?

  • Pingback: Big Peat Christmas Edition | WhiskyNotes()

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  • SK: And just to prove a point, all of the bottles are still available in places where they usually run out. Lets see how many will be still available whe
  • SK: 2 years ago I tried the Caol Ila 1982 from Archives. What a fantastic whisky. Since then I always try to stock these Caol Ila from the 80s. Sadly no
  • WhiskyNotes: The real problem is that Caol Ila isn't selling (mature) casks to independent bottlers any more, from what I've heard, so chances are low we'll see mo

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WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.