Peated Single Malt
Smokehead // Islay, Scotland
Smokehead is shrouded in mystery. It's released by Ian Macleod Distillers, a family-owned company that owns Glengoyne, Tamdhu and offers several expressions of undisclosed origin, like this one. We can tell you that it's an 86-proof Islay single malt aged largely in hogshead barrels for around eight years and it aims to be the choice for the hair metal, race car-obsessed set (see the website). For everything else, your guess is as good as ours.
Peated Single Malt100% malted barley from a single distillery. Dried with peat.
"Smokehead is as much a classic Islay whisky as Stagecoach is a classic western movie. The nose is a wallop of meaty peat—all burnt rubber and skid marks on tar. But those heavy aromas are all talk and no action. They collapse on themselves when you take a sip. The palate—which is disorientingly creamy-- is a flimsy clutter of saline, zingy white pepper and vanilla, which intensifies with a few drops of water. That vanilla, however, is trammeled in in the end by the pepper-heavy, seaweed-y finish. "