In mid January, I purchased a Compass Box sampler set that contained five of their core expressions. I have reviewed their Asyla (loved it!). I have also reviewed their Oak Cross (the jury is still out). Now it’s time for The Peat Monster. Here is what our friends at Compass Box have to say about The Peat Monster:
For those who love big, rich, smoky-peaty malt whiskies, this is for you. Peat Monster combines smoky and peaty single malts from the island of Islay and the Isle of Mull with rich, medium- peated Speyside whisky. The result is a balanced, highly drinkable peaty malt.
Let’s get on with the review…
- Appearance: Pale, golden color. Thick, slow moving legs form after coating the inside of the glass with whisky.
- Aroma: It takes a few minutes for the alcohol vapors to subside, but once they do, there is lots of upfront smokiness that reminds me of a smoldering camp fire crossed with a charcoal briquette. Once you get past the smoke, I detected some caramelized sugar and corn sweetness. There are also faint herbal notes lurking in the distance, i.e. sage, wintergreen, eucalyptus.
- Taste: Very silky mouthfeel. Not watery, but not oily or syrupy either. Starts off slow with those smoky and somewhat medicinal flavors. All of the flavors hit the front half of my tongue. Begins to build up some white pepper spiciness after a few seconds, though it’s never particularly overwhelming. A bit of that sweetness is present in the background. Ends on an herbal and somewhat medicinal note with a very pleasant, warming, and tingly finish that lingers for a minute or two.
- ABV: 46%
When I first opened The Peat Monster test tube, the alcohol was quite prominent, so in order to avoid the same problem that I had with the Oak Cross, I decided to fill my glass and just let it sit for awhile before I started the nosing and tasting process (so as not to waste any time, I tinkered with the photos while I waited). Thankfully, taking my time with this tasting really paid off, and I must say, I really enjoyed The Peat Monster. Personally, I didn’t find it to be as over the top smoky as the name would suggest. A toned down Ardbeg or Laphroiag 10 is how I would describe it. If you’ve always been curious about heavily peated whisky, but were too afraid to try something like the aforementioned Islay whiskeys, then I think The Peat Monster would be a great way to get your feet wet without becoming overwhelmed by the smokiness. The Peat Monster is a lovely, well balanced whisky. A full bottle is in my future once I make a bit of room in the whisk(e)y cabinet.