Specialty drinks (a sister company of the Whisky Exchange) have been bottling the Port Askaig line of Islay malts for a few years now. Recently they have added new members to the family in the form of 16, 30 and 40 year old batches, in addition to a 100 proof edition. The 30 and 40 do sound lovely, but unfortunately I’ve not been able to taste any yet. However, they were kind enough as to share a sample of the 100 proof recently. We tend to think that every blended Peated Islay is basically some sort of Caol Ila in disguise , but this time Billy from the TWE did not really know which distillery it is (they use 3 of those for the range – anyone can guess?, haha). This is a NAS, bottled at a nice 100 proof (duh!) which translates to 57.1% abv, and sells for around £44. Not bad.
Nose: Starting with some Mezcal notes as well as Peat reek, Saline, soot and lemon peel, some minerality too, as well as apple/pear notes, you may expect in young peated malts.
Palate : On entry I am getting a lots of pepper. More Mezcal, Peat and vanilla with apple and pear custard, quite a lot of earthy peat and reeky sort of wood.
Finish: Smoke, soot, bitter lemon and soot.
All in all this is a nice and enjoyable young-ish reeky peaty and smoky Islay malt, with quite a good body , which you can expect at over 57%. It’s not ultra complex. It is a strong contender for the NAS peat big-ass dram (with others contender such as the Big Peat etc). Under 45 quid is a good price point nowadays, methinks. I do prefer Big Peat Xmas edition myself, but this dram is a good option to to satisfy any craving for peat.
Official sample provided by TWE