In celebration of the ten year anniversary of their best selling whisky, Compass Box tweaked the recipe a tad and gave us loyal followers a little bit of a treat. A limited edition (whatever that means in this day and age) of The Peat Monster dressed up in sexy Bosch meets Dali-esque artwork. Love it. Compass Box has always wowed with presentation, and this version of The Peat Monster is no exception.
The initial release of this expression was built on an amalgamation of Caol Ila and Ardmore. Later on, Laphroaig was added to the mix. And now…while I’m uncertain as to the continued inclusion of the latter two (I’ll assume the recipe is consistent), there is apparently an additional few casks of Clynelish. Peated Clynelish at that. Hmmmm…does that sound suspiciously like Brora to any of you? Highly doubt that’s what it is but, man…what I wouldn’t give to taste those peated Clynelish casks anyway.
Having said all of this…The Peat Monster story has been told before, so let’s get on to the dram.
For the sake of compare/contrast I tasted this side-by-side with the standard edition of Peat Monster (albeit one from a couple years back). The differences are subtle, but appreciable. Let me add though…one could be worse served than to relax with two different variants of this dram in front of them, as I am this eve. To quote the late, and especially great, Shannon Hoon: “Life ain’t so shitty”.
Nose: All that you’d expect in terms of peat and smoke. Initially I thought this was a little bit creamier than the regular edition, but as it develops the citrus comes forth and sharpens things up a bit. Malty with some beautiful natural caramel notes. Oily and briny. Pepper. Kippers and capers. Aside from a little bit of lemon and orange there’s not a lot in the way of fruit here. If anything…granny smith apple.
Palate: Smoke and earthy peat. Lemon, salt and melted vanilla ice cream. Something kinda tart, tangy and zippy. Not sure what that is exactly, but it works a treat in opening up every sensor on the tongue. Pepper. Tar. Black candies…or almost (but not quite)salt licorice. Yeah…this is a little creamier than the standard edition. Knowing ahead of time that the mainIslay component in here is Caol Ila is entirely unnecessarily, as it’s nearly unmistakeable off the cuff.
Thoughts: Different, but I can’t say better or worse than its predecessor. No need to split hairs on marks then; let’s score it the same as the other. Another great whisky from Glaser and co.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt