The Essence Of Islay – Big Peat



According to legend, 1,500 years ago the Irish once created the perfect whiskey, but when drank, the intoxicating qualities caused thousands to see paradise.  But alas, paradise on earth was not meant to be for the chosen Irish and the perfect whiskey was lost to the sands of time.  But It’s more likely the damn Vikings or angry Swedes stole the perfect whiskey, like they stole Canada’s Olympic 1994 Gold medal in hockey.

I believe that the Laing’s, owners of Douglas Laing, were born with a superior olfactory sense and a dark sense of humor.  Armed with this superior sense of smell, they have been on a quest to recreate the world’s finest whisky.  At some point the Laing’s realized that they must vat the Port Ellen scent with those other Islay malts to make the ultimate whisky; one which will make them be worshipped as gods forever.  Much like Victor Frankenstein’s desire to create life and in a way cheat death, Big Peat is alive with the pure essence, or the embodiment, of Islay.

Big Peat is a vatting of Islay single malt scotch, but it’s more than that.  It’s also a convoluted story of murder in the death of the Port Ellen distillery; high french fashion with Louis Ardbeg Vuitton; corporate greed with drink giant, Diageo – Caol Ila; and the lost in translation Eastern Asia intrigue with Sumo Suntory Bowmore.

Douglas Laing advertises Big Peat is a shovel full of Islay malts.  How big is a shovel full of Islay malt you ask?  Well, it’s just big enough to fill the hole in the heart of many peat freaks .


Big Peat and all it is made of.


BIG PEAT Batch #1   46% ABV

NOSE:  Very nice balanced peat.  Pepper.  Lemons.  Black liquorice.  Low tide.

TASTE:  Creamy caramel and green apples.

FINISH:  Long and lightly warming.

ASSESSMENT:  Well done, well done.  The definition of a good Islay whisky.



BIG PEAT – SANTA EDITION Natural Cask Strength 57.8 % ABV

NOSE:  Medicinal peat.  Farmy.  Pepper and orange marmalade.

TASTE:  Mint and liquorice.  Wee bitter and briny.

FINISH:  Elegant and long.

ASSESSMENT:  Normally I really love the cask strength, but I believe this tastes better at 46%.  Maybe a Viking (Norwegian, not Swedish Viking) bottling with a windblown helmet at 50% next, just a suggestion.


– As always , your humble drudge , Maltmonster


(On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, a 4.5 Liter bottle of Big Peat whisky…On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love said to me, “Where the f#@k have you been for the last 3 days?”)

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