ATW’s good-hearted foot soldier and trained palate extraordinaire Maltmonster takes us on a head-to-head battle between the world’s peatiest drams…Bruichladdich’s Octomore and Ardbeg’s Supernova. This particular collision is between the first release of Octomore (1.1) and Ardbeg’s latest incarnation of Supernova (SN2010).
At some point in the future I’ll put up my own notes for how these stack up.
Anyway…back to the here and now…
BOG PEOPLE – EXPOSED
TASTING OF TWO PEATED WHISKIES SUPERNOVA & OCTOMORE
Bog People also known as peat freaks, marsh mutants, peatophiles and phenol fanatics exist all around us. They hold normal jobs, eat normal food and they live just like normals, except they have a dirty dark secret. They are addicted to layers of decaying vegetation called “peat”. They roast their peat over barley, which they turn into alcohol in order to speed the delivery to their brains. Most normals have no ideal as to the scope of the problem or the ability to recognize an infected person.
As a self acclaimed expert with months of experience I have no problem in identifying the people of the bog. Four easy clues to identifying people who suck the bog juice are as follows;
1) Language. It’s a dead give away. They use words like medicinal, tar, iodine, smoky, creosote, bonfire, diesel, reek. Learn these words and know the first warning signs.
2) Visual. Look around the house for bottles with names like Authenticus, Ardbeg, Bowmore, Brora, Bruichladdich, Bunnahabhain, Caol Ila, Laphroaig, Port Ellen. Be careful here, they are a tricky bunch and have been known to hide, or as they refer to it “stash”, their bottles. Check the basement, attic and the garage. They have also been known in extreme cases to hide their bottles at the neighbor’s.
3) Leader. Yes I said leader. They follow and pay homage to the prophet named James Murray. Again look around the house for books, and in particular look for a bible which bares the prophet’s name. At the mere mention of the prophet’s name most bog people will stop whatever they are doing and immediately start chanting “Ardbeg whisky of the year, Ardbeg whisky of the year, Ardbeg whisky of the year”. Know their leader and it could save your life.
4) Promised land. As strong as the need for some birds to head south for the winter, so is the desire for each Bog person to visit their promised land. Their mystical home land is called “Islay”, which is an island off the coast of Scotland very close to Ireland. They feel compelled to visit this island at least once in their lifetime. Anytime the name of the mystical homeland is mentioned their eyes glaze over, drool falls from the mouth and they babble names of distilleries located on this mystical island.
Other warning signs of peat freaks in your midst may be breath smelling of a campfire, saved websites of distilleries on Islay, wills stating their bodies are to be interred on Islay.
Two commonly preferred whiskies drank by bog people are:
ARDBEG – SUPERNOVA (SN2010)
60.1 % ABV. OVER 100 PPM
NOSE: Strong smoke, farmy. Lemon and pepper.
TASTE: Salty, liquorice, some fruit. Very chewy.
FINISH: Long and warming. Little dry.
ASSESSMENT: Not as assertive as the Octomore and way more balanced with favor.
BRUICHLADDICH – OCTOMORE 01.1
63.5% ABV. 131 PPM
NOSE: Creosote, Bolivar cigar, smoked oysters…hell maybe a smoked kitchen sink.
TASTE: Intense smoke, salty and some young vanilla.
FINISH: Powerful, robust and long.
ASSESSMENT: Like the taste you get after breaking a bottle on the road and then spending the next hour licking it up.
Never, never use pepper spray on a peat head as they only enjoy this as additional favoring. Also never use a stun gun on them as the many years of exposure to peat has left their senses so dull as to render the stun useless. Never approach a large group of peat heads as they can be very dangerous. I heard from a creditable Hollywood source that George Romero wrote Dawn Of The Dead after visiting some peat freaks on Islay.
If you find yourself trapped with a peat freak please remember the following: Burn some smoky incense or light a fire which will serve to calm them; tell them you have to go to the store to pick some smoked oysters or smoked salmon to pair with their brew; Once outside phone the police, they are very adept in dealing with these deviants.