Despite it being 24°C in Tel Aviv, and winter seeming to be worlds away, it’s deep winter in most of the Northern hemisphere and everybody is gearing up for Christmas (or Hanukkah).
Nothing spells winter more than a nice peated whisky, and so we check out the most recent addition to Israel’s whisky scene, Big Peat which has just found a local importer.
Big Peat is as close to a brand as any vatted malt gets with its own Facebook page, own website and a slew of merchandise from pens that project the face of Big Peat on walls to umbrellas. The whole brand is about fun and lightness and about not taking things too seriously.
Hell, they’ll even send you a free mechanical pencil with every order to prove Scots aren’t cheap 🙂
Yet this is a serious vatted malt, blending Ardbeg, Caol Ila and Bowmore. Keeping up the light headed mood, we’re also reminded that the vatting includes even some whisky produced by the legendary Port Ellen distillery, and I wish you much luck in picking it out in the blend. Of course, judging by the prices of Port Ellen, this is as close as many will get to drinking some of that illustrious juice.
Big Peat (46% NCF, NC)
Appearance: Straw, quick thick legs followed by quick thin ones.
Nose: Ardbeg peat hits the nose first, then lemon and vanilla with confectionery notes. There is a lot of the “dirty peat” on the nose there, and some “young bite”.
Palate: Sweet peat with mineral and briny notes. Very much a bonfire on the beach. The whisky is full bodied.
Linger: Medium, leaves peat and some mild sourness in mouth.
The brand is about fun, but the liquid is serious. This vatting is strongly suggestive of youngish Ardbeg (which probably makes up most of the blend) and makes for easy drinking. While not overly distinctive of the different malts in it, it’s the best of the peated vatted malts I’ve tasted and is a good bottle to have around with friends.
Interesting. I actually find it more Caol Ila in style and thought that was the main ingredient.
Ardbeg is more ashy to me, especially when young, while caol ila is fresh sea breeze and sweetened lemon.
I guess it realy is a complex blend of islays…
Great value in Israel too, price comparable to the UK.
It’s the sign of a complex blend when you can pick out different “lead” components. To me the mineral character of the Ardbeg stands out, to you the lemon of the Caol Ila 🙂