That time again already? Thanks to Douglas Laing for the sample of this year’s xmas edition. The 2013 taste is from my bottle from last year – I did decant a 3cl sample in anticipation of this tasting many months ago, so no oxidised sampling worries for me. My original notes from the 2013 are here, in amongst a flight of other Big Peat editions.
Nose – Ripe, raw, a little sour, some oil, some metal - like the smell of a heavily used wood file. Juicy Islay sweet fruit lurk underneath, some yoghurt covered raisins, cigarette tobacco and salt and vinegar. I’ve got a good feeling about this…
Body – Spicy, arresting peat, quite a lot of black pepper and urgent sweetness backing it up. Sichuan peppercorn fizz and musky Islay wood.
Finish – Long, toffeed, drying, hugely tannic. Balanced and satisfying. It’s a christmas cracker!
What’s not good about it – Lacks delicacy (!) and is a little sour.
What’s good about it – Exactly what I want from Big Peat – an intense blast of Islay fun, loads of balancing sweet toffee underneath and a highly returnable-to development. Yummy.
Compared to the Xmas 2013 edition: On the nose, 2013 has more modelling clay, lots of bright deodorant and is more floral, but slightly muskier. The 2014 is richer, with more pronounced wood richness and a more Ardbeggy note (I’d guess the 2013 has more peated Bunnahabhain in it). They both rock on the nose – I love Big Peat.
On the delivery, 2013 is more perfumed again, brighter and more citrus/astringent with freshly cut wood. 2014 is also floral, more sweetly fruited and even more peaty than the 2013. Long, numbing and intense.