My friend @Olivier_amar is a real peat-head, and was always raving about the Peat monster by compass Box. He told me i had to taste this one. As a peat head myself, i knew i will be sampling this one at some point, and was really happy to have had the opportunity to taste it eventually a few weeks ago.
The peat monster is a vatting of Islay single malts from the village of Port Askaig (Laphroaig, and Coal Ila) and some Ardmore, all aged 10-16 years old. All coming from First fill, and Refill American oak. Will it prove to be a real ‘Peat monster’ ? let’s start with the dramming, and check it out.
Compass box Peat monster 46% , ~$50
Nose: Melange of Sweet fruit under a cape of peat : Apricots, Pears and some butter. Some wood smoke, earthy peat and white pepper and smoked bacon. Not extremely peaty as the name suggests, I’ve encountered peatier malts and blended malts (Big peat for example By D.Laing). but it’s very enjoyable.
Palate: Body is quite thin, peat attack is first less noticeable, then after 2 seconds, the peat sneaks on you, and attacks with multiple ‘waves’ of peat sweetness, loads of Pepper and cinnamon all together. a very nice feeling to it.
Finish: peat smoke, cinnamon and burnt sugar with some malt.
If you are a peat-head, this is a very enjoyable vatting, rather complex, and on the spot, But , and that’s a big BUT. it’s really a very shy monster, that does not roar. Compared to other beasts such as the Supernova 2010, or the Octomores , PC6 / 7 / 8 , this is a well-behaved peat creature. It lacks the sheer impact of peat, and the 46% ABV also is not a match to the Cask Strength of let’s say even the Corryvreckan or Laphraoig QC / CS.
If i had to choose between those two, I’d first shell out the money for the big hammers. But, I am a peat devotee. Someone who is just entering the Peated malts world would enjoy this one better. It will be a great introductory dram to the world of Islay peat, and peat in general. So, It’s a good option, after all.
Many thanks to the Compass Box team (Gregg,Chris) for the sample.