Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Heavily Peated but not from Islay?

Through a couple of #dample swaps I managed to get my hands on a couple of unusual heavily peated drams - now as most of you know I love peated drams - Ardbeg, Laphroaig, Lagavulin, Port Charlotte etc but these two are a little different - neither are from Islay and one isn't even from Scotland!

My favourite peated dram of the last year or so was Port Charlotte Islay Barley - this was labelled "Heavily Peated" at 40ppm which I reviewed here. These two drams sit either side of that phenol level, one is 30ppm and one is 50ppm.

So what are they?

First up at 30ppm from Japan is Hakushu Heavily Peated - a 46% NAS from Suntory's second distillery in the Southern Japanese Alps

Distillery: Hakushu
Whisky: Heavily Peated

Characteristics: 48% NAS NCF Pale Gold (looks naturally coloured) 30ppm
Source: #drample swap with @GeoffGilmore1

Nose: light smoke, a distant fire? Damp soil, wood shavings but all very light!
Palate: honey sweetness with a big kick of spice, very smooth on the tongue, a little salt and maybe some citrus?
Finish: long, warming and very smokey, some citrus again but lingering smoke!

Next up at 50ppm is Edradour's Ballechin 10yo Heavily Peated.

Distillery: Edradour

Whisky: Ballechin 10yo Heavily Peated

Characteristics: 46% 10yo NCF Rose Gold Non-coloured 50ppm
Source: #drample swap with @The_Cask_Blog

Nose: in-your-face Smokey Bacon! A big peaty kick in the nose with little hints of tropical fruit.
Palate: very light almost watery, slightly spicy - unusual and not what I was expecting! There's all sorts on the palate - orchard fruit, red fruits but all very fleeting - the smoke covers all - it's also very drying.
Finish: as it goes down your throat it gives you a big kick of smoke to let you know it's there!

Comments: two completely different drams, overall I think I prefered the first - the Japanese one - it might have 'only' been 30ppm but I think it carried it off much better and had a bit more about it. The Edradour was far 'peatier' at 50ppm but was quite rough in it's approach - like Octomore's little brother! Both were hunting out if you like peated drams and want to explore a little away from Islay!

Sunday, 4 March 2018

#BlindTasting Series 3 - Part 1

If you've followed us so far on our #BlindTasting journey of discovery you'll know that is a great fun set of evenings here the five of us try to identify drams from each other. sometimes we can get quite close, sometimes we are completely flummoxed. But the key things are we are trying the drams blind with no preconceived ideas and we are having lots of fun!