Community Favorites: Peated Single Malts

Some people hate peat, and some love it. These are the favorite peated single malts of the Distiller community!
Jul 06, 2016
  • 10
    10 Ardbeg Alligator
    4 out of 5 stars
    ( 65 )
    Rich & Smoky
    Most scotch is aged in a previously used barrel. A portion of this special edition offering from Ardbeg, however, was aged in new, unused American oak that received the deepest charring offered -- the alligator, so named because the inside of the barrel looks like the hide of an alligator. This is mostly available on the grey market or through retailers around the world, excluding the US.
  • 9
    9 Ardbeg Dark Cove (2016 Committee Release)
    4 out of 5 stars
    ( 80 )
    Rich & Full Bodied
    Bottled for Ardbeg Day of 2016, the Dark Cove bottling is a special release for Ardbeg Committee members (keep an eye out for a lower-ABV bottling coming out later this year on Ardbeg Day, May 28). The Dark Cove marries spirit aged in ex-Bourbon casks with a percentage of spirit aged in casks that once held "dark" sherry, an extremely rare version of the fortified wine Master Blender Bill Lumsden found in his travels (rumors have it around two to three times the percentage of ex-Sherry as in the Uigeadail). Expect some variation in color, as the Dark Cove is non-chill filtered, has no added coloring, and is bottled at 55% ABV.
  • 8
    8 Bowmore 25 Year
    4 out of 5 stars
    ( 45 )
    Spicy & Sweet
    Bowmore 25 year is a limited release single malt whisky from Islay's oldest (recorded) distillery. Both American bourbon and Spanish sherry casks were utilized during its quarter century maturation. Bottled at 43% ABV.
  • 7
    7 Springbank 21 Year
    4 out of 5 stars
    ( 52 )
    Rich & Full Bodied
    This review is for the 2015 release, though the bottle does not implicitly state that. Aged in a mixture of ex-Oloroso sherry and ex-bourbon casks, this is bottled at 92 proof. Limited availability of 3600 bottles worldwide. Of course, as with all Springbank bottlings, this is distilled 2.5 times and is lightly peated.
  • 6
    6 Laphroaig 30 Year
    4 out of 5 stars
    ( 48 )
    Full Bodied & Smoky
    The new limited edition Laphroaig 30-year hit shelves in October 2016. Bottled at a cask-strength of 53.5%, the whisky was aged for 15 years in first-fill ex-bourbon casks, before being moved to older refill casks for the duration of its maturation.
  • 5
    5 Octomore 07.3/169 Islay Barley
    4 out of 5 stars
    ( 101 )
    Peaty & Briny
    Bruichladdich's Octomore series preaches to peat devotees, in the quest for the best and most heavily peated Islay whiskies ever produced. The 07.3 release clocks in at 169 PPM, and has been aged for five years in ex-bourbon and Spanish Ribera del Duero wine barrels. Distilled from Islay barley, it has also been bottled at cask strength, 63% ABV. The series is named for the Octomore Farm, nestled above Port Charlotte.
  • 4
    4 Lagavulin 12 Year (2016 Special Release)
    4 out of 5 stars
    ( 88 )
    Peaty & Full Bodied
    A regular representative of Islay on Diageo's annual Special Releases, is the Lagavulin 12 Year. Although younger than its famous older sib, the Lagavulin 16 Year, this single malt expression is one of the most popular releases in the annual line-up with the brand's strong fan base and the bottling's more affordable price tag. It's bottled at its natural cask-strength of 57.7% ABV.
  • 3
    3 Highland Park The Dark 17 Year
    4 out of 5 stars
    ( 73 )
    Full Bodied & Vanilla
    The Dark from Highland Park was released in late December 2017 in honor of the autumn and winter seasons on Orkney. This 17 year-old single malt was aged exclusively in European oak sherry butts. The bottle is jet black and adorned with a serpent dragon. It is bottled at 52.9% ABV. Expect The Light to be released in spring 2018 as a nod to the spring and summers seasons. This bottling is limited to 28,000 worldwide.
  • 2
    2 Laphroaig 25 Year
    4 out of 5 stars
    ( 125 )
    Rich & Full Bodied
    Laphroaig 25 Year is the union of whiskeys that aged separately in former Oloroso sherry and ex-bourbon casks for 25 years, then bottled together. It's bottled at cask strength. It also must be noted that it is packaged with a sleek, black hinged box bearing a shiny gold label.
  • 1
    1 Highland Park 25 Year
    4 out of 5 stars
    ( 133 )
    Rich & Full Bodied
    Highland Park distillery, considered the jewel of Orkney Island, has released a 25 year old version of their core expression Scotch. This one is matured in a higher percentage of first fill sherry casks than the 18 year old. The distillery is known for drying their barley with Hobbister Moor peat, which burns more floral and less rubbery and briny than from Islay.