Hmmm. Wow. Something seems a little odd here. I first had a go at Compass Box’s The Peat Monster last year at an event hosted by John Glaser (the man behind the curtain). I remember thinking that this was a delicious dram, if somewhat…misleading. I expected a solid kick in the stuff with this one, a la Octomore or Supernova. C’mon…with a name like ‘The Peat Monster’, wouldn’t you expect the same?
From what I can gather (and I hope to clarify in the near future…hang tight for updates), this was originally composed primarily of Caol Ila and Ardmore. This would explain my initial reaction. HOWEVER…scuttlebutt says, there is now Laphroaig in the mix. Aha…it all comes clear. Indeed this is much beefier than I recall (and my old notes attest). The nose is all Caol Ila. The palate is all Laphroaig. Simply astounding.
Basically…the delicate intensity that so characterizes and defines Caol Ila is given a souped up engine under the hood. Peat, smoke and brine meet citrus zest, ash and pepper. Lovely. This gets a hefty boost across the tastebuds if you can imagine the aforesaid complimented by that raw Laphroaig earthiness. Sharp apple skins at the tale end of the finish.
Now this is certainly deserving of the title Peat Monster. A very sexy whisky.
For those unfamiliar with John Glaser’s Compass Box enterprise, do yourself a favor…nab a bottle of this, The Spice Tree, Hedonism or Asyla. The more time I spend with this lineup, the more I dig ‘em. Mr. Glaser is an alchemist. His approach is unique and uncompromising. I like that. I can hardly wait to see what else he has up his sleeve.
Non-chill-filtered, non-colored and 46% abv. Solid.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Pat at www.standstillphotography.ca