Big Peat Christmas Edition 2014, NAS, 55,7 %
Winter is coming. Well, it is starting to get a bit darker at least. There’s thankfully a few more weeks left before we have to deal with the snow and the cold. We have received the first sign of winter though, in the shape of a fun bottle from Islay. Douglas Laing is releasing the fourth edition of their Big Peat Christmas Edition whisky.
Big Peat Christmas Edition is a cask strength big brother to the regular Big Peat. This is a blended malt (or vatted malt), consisting of single malt from the following distilleries: Ardbeg, Caol Ila, Bowmore, Port Ellen and one final mystery malt.
Nose (23/25): Rich, massive and complex Islay nose. To me it has a near perfect balance between peat, sweetness and lighter fruity notes. There is definitely citrus here, as well as caramel, vanilla, leather and many variations on peat and smoke; bonfire, barbecue, wood smoke and smoked, raw meat. I pick up some light medicinal and herbal notes after a while.
Taste (22/25): Powerful, as a Big Peat should be. The taste does match the nose very well, there is a clear consistency here. The added element is salt. There is more of a maritime theme to the taste than the nose. Sandy beaches mercilessly pounded by salty waves and strong winds.
Finish (22/25): Less salty and more sweet on the finish. There is chocolate added to the mix now, more caramel and some lemon favored vanilla ice cream. Medium long and warm finish.
Balance (22/25): If you like peated whisky, then you should treat yourself to a bottle of Big Peat Christmas 2014 this coming holiday season. It is a perfect dram in front of the fireplace, when the snow is getting deeper and deeper outside, and the winter darkness seems completely impenetrable.