Water of Life - Peat's Beast
Now we are talking – having lusted for the longest time to find out what the emission with the punchy name of quality bottler has to offer, I finally got to experience it in the old world. When it comes to peated nectar, I found blended expressions to be a bit of a hit-and-miss. There are plenty of good ones, however, there is rarely one that fully satisfies and not only serves as an appetizer and inspiration to then reach for a dram of the big and trusted Islay whiskies to get the whole show in all its glory.
Unsurprisingly, what tickles the nostrils is dominated by peat, however, not overwhelmingly and not in a one-dimensional way as apart from the expected wood smoke and wafts of tar, there are subtle citrussy nuances and highlights of apples.
What the first aroma promises, finds its natural extension on the palate but gains depth and character as one finds hints of pepper, ham and seaweed, which are counteracted by banana-esque flavours, all of which rest on a bed of phenols. Opposed to other blends, I find it immensely satisfying with a viscous, oily mouthfeel, especially as it combines a complexity with a rawness that in this form is rarely found.
Stating that Peat’s Beast has an elongated finish would be an understatement par excellence as the flavours that materializes on the top of the roof are rounded out with a smoky, peppery crescendo, the dark chocolate-y highlight of which leaves on lusting for more.
As with many blends, the distilleries and exact origins are not made transparent, however, with a phenol level of 35 ppm and emerging from the Speyside region of Scotland, this beautiful beast has some beauty in it that is reminiscent of the better parts of some of my favourite drams from Islay.
The fact that the label is a work of beauty (illustrated by Brazilian Doug Alves), completes the overall great experience with this chardonnay coloured, young heavy hitter that despite its telling name is not a one trick pony.
Merely knowing that this review covered the entry level 46% ABV version and that the Peat’s Beast range has been extended to include a cask strength version, a Pedro Ximénez finish and most importantly an Islay Single Malt, adds a few things to my whisky bucket list.
image from company website