June 7, 2012
The 12 has a clearer, cleaner flavor than Lagavulin 16, more bright and more powerful. It shows Islay peat, pure and without excess wood or the sweetness inherent in the use of European oak.
March 26, 2012
Independent bottlers. Are you paying more and getting less for distillery throwaways? Or will you get lucky and pay bargain dollars for something fantastic that will be gone forever once the last drop is consumed? For some (including me), that’s a lot of gamble for upwards of $50 to $80. On this particular day, I got lucky.
March 19, 2012
While it has a lovely lemony nose full of that Orkney peat, the bitterness on the tongue and the burned notes in the finish relegate this to the 30-dollar bin. Still, another sip covers up the sins of the previous, and it’s a sight better than drinking most blends.
February 9, 2012
The youth of the malt means all of the complexity is in the peat, which delivers a lot of intense flavor, but not a lot of secondary notes. The alcohol burn is a bit rough – likely because of the quick maturation – but nevertheless, this is a powerful, peaty kick in the head that any true peat-head should take a look at.
January 9, 2012
I’m not sure I would call this “easy drinking”, and I don’t think I would buy a bottle (if it were still available!). John did manage to achieve part of his goal: a big, peaty Caol Ila with a powerfully sweet highlander to give it some background.
December 27, 2011
A mediocre dram when compared with similar young Islays. There is some nice dark musty peat, but it’s not as intense as most Islay fans would like. My best guess is that this is a 6 year-old Ardbeg from a heavily charred ex-bourbon barrel, but not an excellent one.
December 22, 2011
Although overshadowed by its mighty (both in flavor and in following) neighbors to the south, Laphroaig, Lagavulin, and Ardbeg, Bowmore’s whisky displays a restraint that provides grateful relief to the bog-soddened palates of peat lovers.
December 19, 2011
We’re looking at a craft presentation (46% ABV, unchilfiltered, and no color added) peated malt from a working farm. This shows a LOT of promise, but it’s only really promise at this point.
November 24, 2011
Wemyss Malts has a line of romantically-named blended malts in ages 5, 8, and 12 years old. Each includes a ‘key ingredient’ to define its character and justify its name, as well as up to 16 other malts. I tried The Peat Chimney (primarily Caol Ila) at a K&L Wednesday spirits tasting in Redwood City, CA.
November 7, 2011
Like Willy Wonka’s Three-Course-Dinner Gum you get a salty, nutty appetizer, a main course of roasted barbecue pork, a dessert of roasted peaches, a cup of chocolatey coffee and an after-dinner mint! Amazing. I suggest keeping an eye out for a lonely bottle at a bar or a sample to bum off a friend. It’s an experience.