I’m not entirely certain how I feel about the idea of the Peat Monster. On the one hand, as you’ve probably noticed I’m quite a big fan of the peaty side of the whisky world – I drink more Islay than just about anything else. On the other, if somehow feels like more of a marketing gimmick than a ‘serious’ whisky.
The first thing you notice, before you even open the bottle, is the colour. It’s an incredibly pale straw colour; no messing about ageing the whisky in sherry or PX casks here, obviously.
The second thing, as you’d expect, is the nose. There’s big smoke before the glass comes close to your face; once that’s calmed down a little there are some biscuity notes and iodine underneath. Watering it brings out hints of sea spray, and enhances the biscuit too.
Taking a sip and again, the peat is there in spades; not the peatiest thing I’ve ever drunk, but certainly a good warming hit. The fire fades away into a nice tail that lingers but doesn’t overstay it’s welcome. It’s a pleasant enough drink, but is a little lacking in complexity.
There’s a little more to it with some water – it turns down the smoke just a touch and allows some of the sweeter notes to shine through at the front, although they’re then quickly submerged under an almost bitter aftertaste.
Overall, it’s a slight disappointment. It’s a nice enough whisky but with a name like Peat Monster, I was expecting to have my Islay-loving socks blown off. They remain firmly attached to my Islay-loving feet, however.