Big Peat is a regular amongst the heavily peated blends. This cask strength Islay blended malt includes Ardbeg, Bowmore, Caol Ila and Port Ellen – I suppose this last distillery still helps it fly off the shelves although it may be a very limited amount. It also includes two other malts from the south side of the island (Laphroaig and Lagavulin).
Like last year, Douglas Laing created a Big Peat Christmas Edition. It’s supposed to be an even more wintery version.
Big Peat ‘Christmas Edition’ 2013 (54,9%, Douglas Laing 2013)
Nose: surprisingly youthful. Young peated malt, full of pear drops and smoked grains. Heathery peat, porridge, big phenols and some antiseptic. Briny Caol Ila up front, maybe some 2000’s Bowmore in the middle and young Ardbeg sweetness underneath. Clean, bold, but with some new-makeish notes.
Mouth: very peaty again. Pepper. A similarly young (synthetic) pear fruitiness. Some rubbery notes and tar. Quite some medicinal notes as well, and a hint of black coffee and cocoa towards the end. Rather straightforward.
Finish: long, with some liquorice and ashes.
It didn’t impress me as much as the original Big Peat, but it’s still a nice Islay vatting, just a little youngish. Around € 60.