Smokehead Islay Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Youthful and fiery, oozing with testosterone. Toffee apple intoxicated with kiln-trapped peat smoke, charcoal ash, anise, honeyed malt, brine, peppered seaweed, kippers, and damp earth. Brisk and warming. Okay, this is a young, 'in your face' Islay single malt. Young Islay whiskies show the true character of Islay (which I like), and this is a young one. Ideally, I’d like to see another five years, not chill-filtered, and bottled at 46% ABV, but there’s still a sort of 'raw edge' attraction here.
Bottled by Ian Macleod, the man behind the Isle of Skye and other great Scottish drams, this 100% Islay single malt is something of a mystery. No one is saying a word about who made it, but there are only so many Islay distilleries and they all taste distinctive. Which one is it? The nose is pure peat smoke, seaweed, iodine, and saltwater, the palate shows medicinal tones on top of the forementioned flavors. To me it tastes like Ardbeg or Caol Ila (or maybe Lagavulin) and from what I've heard those are the top guesses at the moment. The average age of the whisky is supposedly seven years old. Try it for yourself! There's no doubt that it's delicious, and maybe you can unlock the mystery for us. Brand new and available now in the U.S. for the first time. From the Beverage Tasting Institute: "Bright old gold color. Delicate aromas of honeyed raisin scone, dried peaches, and medicinal tinctures have a hint of cedar and mesquite-like smokiness follow through on a soft, smooth entry to a dryish medium body with good depth and a lingering, cream and cereal and subtly complex and earthy smoked wood, leather, and prairie grass driven finish. A very nice young and smoky dram. 91 points." (05/2010)