Big Peat is a remarkable marriage of Malt Whiskies only from the island of Islay. He is, of course, proudly without colouring or chill-filtration and bottled at high alcohol strength (46%), resulting in a naturally oily spirit that promises an incredible mouth-feel. With Caol Ila spirit bringing sweetness, Bowmore the perfect balance, Ardbeg the medicinal, earthy quality and Port Ellen, a degree of elegance, Big Peat represents all that is Islay in a bottle. Fred Laing tells us that of course, there are a couple of Blender's Secrets in Big Peat too – but even after a few drams, he won’t share that info – and so it remains his peaty little secret!
The nose opens fresh, salty and clean, and develops to malted barley dried over peat. A damp, earthy character that’s immediately punchy. On the palate you’ll detect ashes, sweet tar, beaches and smoking chimneys. A long and lingering finish with salty, tangy liquorice, smoke and yet more bonfire ashes.
It takes a robust partner to stand up to Big Peat, but blue cheese is a companion up to the test. The high alcohol strength of Big Peat cuts through the oiliness of the cheese, whilst the complex, creaminess of the cheese unveils layer upon layer of ashy, smokey flavours in the whisky.