Saturday, 12 May 2012

Whisky Discovery #104

Big Peat (46% abv)
Blended Malt Whisky
Circa £35.00 70cl

A wee Big Peat, (the sun was out so I enjoyed this in the garden)
This was a very welcome yet unexpected gift from Glenross Whiskies. I received a tweet from them letting me know that I was their 1000th follower on Twitter (@GRWhiskies) and because of that would be sent something I hadn't tried before to blog about.

Glenross Whiskies is a fairly new Whisky Retail business. Formed in 2010 and opening its doors on the High Street and Online on the 5th May 2011. They've just celebrated their first birthday! They're a family run independent company operating from the beautiful Scottish Borders town of Peebles.The shop is a hidden gem with a wide range of Scottish and World Whiskies available, both in-house and online. They have many years of experience in the drinks industry, and have regular tatsings going on at the shop. If only they were closer to me!

After a couple of days a wee 'Big Peat' arrived at Whisky Discovery HQ, but with so many open bottles on my shelf, and with the recent whisky events I've attended decided I should hold back on this for a short while before opening.

Big Peat is a blend from Douglas Laing and Co, Glasgow-based independent bottlers and blenders headed by brothers, Fred and Stewart Laing, who proved the value of nepotism when they succeeded their father, Fred Douglas who founded the company in 1948. Historically this would have been called a 'vatted malt' A vatted malt is what the Scotch Whisky industry has traditionally called “a marriage of Malts”. Such vattings often form the heart and soul of a blended scotch whisky (which carries the lighter tasting grain whisky, to soften matters).

This vatting carries a big peaty (often called “phenolic”), beachy oceanic slightly ashy selection of Malts from the island of Islay, from where the Laing family hail. Included in the "recipe" are Ardbeg, Bowmore, Caol Ila and even the rare Port Ellen (whose distillery closed in 1983) Small batch bottling, normally around 5,000 bottles

So what did I think?
I love Islays and there are definitely Islay malts here! I like to think I can detect the Caol Ila and Arbeg in it. It opens up with a briny, youthful Caol Ila freshness with the Ardbeg peatiness underlying. There’s plenty of peat smoke, which becomes more medicinal given time. Islay is my favourite medicine. Simple and easy going on the palate with hints of new make cereal, mouth filling, and oily as it coats the mouth. Coal Ila freshness and a light salty tang. The peat intensity is fitting for its name. It's finish was alltoo quick - it was only a wee bottle, and so it didn't last long at all! I did, however really enjoy it and will be back for more one day. Thanks again to Glenross Whiskies, and if you're in the Peebles area do pop in and say hello!

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