Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Whisky Review: The Peat Monster by Compass Box Whisky Company

Non-chill Filtered

Style/Region: Blend of Islay and Speyside
Age: Unspecified
Cask Type: American Oak
Alcohol: 46%

Water added: Yes
Nose: Heavy peat smoke with hints of brine. After water was added a briney oak with a hint of sweetness overtakes the peat smoke.
Mouth Feel: Delightfully thick and oily.
Flavor: Complex with a peppery oak, and hint of sweetness that is slowly overtaken by a light smooth peat smoke.
Finish: Smooth smoke and peat that lingers.

Overall Impressions: I don’t normally drink blends – I prefer the variety of a good single-malt. However, I have learned over the years that being snobby about blends is a huge mistake – If I were to attempt to make a list of the best Scotch Whisky I’ve ever had, a blend would either be at the top or near it. The Peat Monster is a product of the Compass Box Whisky Company and is part of their Signature Range series of whiskies that highlight the character of Scotch Whisky. The title says it all – this one is about peat. And it’s a good one. In fact, read my impressions of this and then read my impressions of Ardbeg Uigeadail. They are nearly identical. Now, I’m not saying that this is as good as Ardbeg, but it’s close – way closer than I would have imagined. It’s complex – the smoky peat flavor is the star, but subtle sweetness rounds this out. The blend features Islay single malts from the village of Port Askaig, an Islay south shore malt, a smoky malt from the Isle of Mull and a medium-peated Speyside malt.

So, learn the lesson – single malts are great, but don’t disdain the blends. I will happily be sampling the other Signature Ranges offered by Compass Box.


Kendall said...

I don't normally read your whisky posts, sorry -- I'm an SF fan but not a whisky drinker. But I have a whisky question, so yeah, don't I feel silly.... I hope this is okay -- if you feel it's inappropriate, just delete this.

How do you feel about Chivas Regal? We've got two bottles (long story) I'm not sure what's best -- straight up? On the rocks? A mixed drink (if so, what do you recommend)?

Stupid Qs, I know, but I'm not a whisky drinker. If you feel Chivas Regal is akin to bath water, then please, be gentle with me. ;-)


Kendall said...

P.S. On the SF side of things, I see The Whitefire Crossing in your sidebar; I just got it for Christmas and am looking forward to it. :-)

Neth said...

No worries, these whisky reviews are about keeping things interesting for me as much as anything else.

As for Chivas Regal, it's not really something I drink much. My opinion is that it's for making mixed drinks more than drinking on its own. If I had a bottle I'd likely use it for cooking or gift to another.

And for The Whitefire Crossing, I enjoyed it. It's a very strong debut. But I'm still probably a couple weeks out before a full review will come around.

Kendall said...

Cool, thanks. With two bottles, I feel compelled to try it, so we'll look into mixed drinks.

Kendall said...

Okay, my whisky expert! ;-) It turns out we have several partial bottles that my brother left behind, that I didn't realize we had. Any comments on these:

- Laphroaig Islay Single Malt Scotch Wiskey (10 year)
- King George IV blended Scotch whisky
- Glenfarclas 105 cask strength single highland malt Scotch whisky

We also have some Irish Mist, but I'm guessing whisky-based liqueur is Satanic or something (though probably more likely something I'd like ;-).

Neth said...

ahh, that's a nicer sounding set of scotch. Laphroaig is is a very decent example of Islay Scotch - it's all about the smoke and peat flavor. It may seem a bit harsh for the novice.

Glenfarclas is decent - generally I find it a bit mediocre for the price, but it's not a bad scotch at all.

I'm not familiar with the blend.

Kendall said...

Thanks, Neth! :-)


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