Elements of Islay is a small batch whisky label that consists of single distillery bottlings from various Islay distilleries, and has been around for some time, and is quite successful, there are some lovely expressions in the line, but each release is a one-off and quite limited. Some have been gaining quite a following ,selling at auctions for some steep prices, as to justify a post on the very funny and biting Whisky Sponge blog (this Bn1 bottle selling for 700 quid..) Anyways, With the introduction of the new Peat edition the guys at specialty drinks (TWE) have blended malt in the range, using whiskies from several distilleries to create a consistent and ongoing bottling, so, rather than being a small batch that will sell out in a few weeks or months, it will be an ongoing expressions available at all times or so , they have also bottled it at a nice 59.3% ABV. A cask strength Blended Malt based on Islay malts (NAS) is not something new, and the Big Peat X-MAS edition from D.Laing has been around, although it’s a limited edition and is not available all year (well, basically). There’s a nice post on the TWE blog with an interview with Oliver Chilton who’s responsible for this and the entire Elements series. check it out here.
Nose : Starts quite peaty and dampy with a creamy sweetness underneath, some caramel toffee and earth. Some sugared lemon and maybe a hint of manure. All in all a very creamy peat candy.
Palate: Nice toffeed apples in brown sugar, a nice spiced wine with cinnamon and cloves, leather, peat and wood fire, smoky pear compote, sprinkled with black pepper and some bandages.
Finish : Hint of smoked fish, grapefruit pith and creamy toffeed apple. Lingering smoke, more part and some apple peel.
This is a lovely dram, it is both fresh and fruity and sweet and toffeed at the same time, with the right amount of peat reek, lemon and coastal notes. A very good price, and considering it’s bottled almost at 60% abv, even more so. A worthy contender for Big Peat Xmas. Well done Oliver.