The Remarkable Malts series has been heavily reviewed on this site over the last year. The complete list to date includes:
- Rock Oyster 18 Year Old
- Big Peat
- Rock Oyster
- Scallywag Cask Strength No.2
- Timorous Beastie 10 Year Old
- Timorous Beastie
- The Epicurean
The latest instalment is the premium Gold Edition bottle of Big Peat. This was the first bottle to be called the Gold Edition and I thought at the time it was the beginning of a new series. While that still might be the case nothing else has materialised apart from late last year another parcel of probably the same stock was realised of the Big Peat which had been aged for an extra year to 26 years old.
Bottled in 2017 with 3000 bottles produced this is a limited batch run of 25 year old malt whisky which was all distilled in 1992 at the latest. There is a number of distilleries used in the recipe from the Isle of Islay which makes this a blended malt whisky. The whisky has been kept at natural colour and with no chill filtering like every other release from Douglas Laing and the cask strength is 52.1% ABV.
There is still bottles available and the RRP is £175 which is a lot. Part of the reason there is still bottles available is probably because of the price but when compared to 25 year old single malts from Islay especially this is exceptionally good value. Why pay thousands for a macallan or Laphroaig and be constrained to a single producer when you can pay less than £200 and get a complex and layered whisky using a palette of producers. Seems mental to me that anyone would prefer the former to be completely honest.
Anyway, back with the whisky and the label doesn’t give much else away other than oak was used for maturation. *face palm*
Colour – straw yellow
Nose – strong and billowing earthy peat smoke which hangs dampy in the air. Lemons and brine coastal notes with cold smoked fish notes to complement it. This develops with water to be much sweeter. Vanilla ice-cream and heathered honey most noticeably.
Palate – The peat which was sweet becomes drier and ashen on the palate. There is a bitter note to it of first aid boxes and heat from chilli and other mellower spices. The texture is really thick though and has just a hint of alcohol soaked fruits in there also. The sweeter elements develop again with some dark chocolate.
Finish – The finish is of course so long and lingers the stale tobacco note of many peated islay whiskies. More hints of raisins with the brine and fish of the nose completing the circle on the whisky.
Fantastic and enjoyable whisky which is layered, evolving and captivating in equal measure. It is also totally within the Islay style and easily distinguishable as such. Really good work in blending this together and keeping at at a price point people can buy it and open it. While there is a lot of comment on retail sites about the price and quality I don’t agree with them and totally recommend the last few bottles are bought up before they are gone forever.