This was a limited release bottle from Douglas Laing that came out in early 2019, if I recall correctly. It was released to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Big Peat line of blends. They usually stick to NAS bottlings and holiday releases, along with special bottles for various British entities, such as the Royal Air Force, etc. This particular release is actually slightly lower in ABV than most releases, even the 25-27yo special bottles are a higher ABV, I believe. This bottle cost me $55 at the time of release, but I think it can still be found for a little less from a few U.K. online shoppes. It’s a typical, pale yellow in color with thick, oily legs and tons of medium sized droplets in your Glencairn. The nose begins with sharp, mineral-y peat and cloves. Fresh oak, vanilla and a few tropical notes, like pineapple and banana, indicate that this particular blend’s components spent lots of their time in ex-bourbon casks before their happy marriage. Water brings about lots of maritime notes and more herbaceous qualities. All of which help the dram. Water is your friend here, even at 46%. The palate is salty smoke and peat, orchard fruits and bananas while being warming and luscious. There’s meaty BBQ at mid sip and it’s very smooth for a 10 year old whisky. Ardbeg peat levels with a Caol Ila smoothness, I’d say. Mouth coat is on the heavier side, but is really quite welcoming. The finish is long with a hit of sharp mineral notes. Apples and bananas linger to the very end, giving you a smoked, yet fruity finish. It works very well. Overall, I’m a huge fan of the Big Peat line of blends. I actually think I prefer these over Compass Box’s peated stuff and even a handful of Islay single malts (I won’t name which ones, out of respect, but there are a few I’d pass on for a bottle of Big Peat). The price is borderline high, just for a blend, but it’s still one I’d pay if I had easier access to this line of whisky. 4-4.25 stars all day long. Cheers, my friends.
55.0 USD per Bottle