Peat – Elements of Islay Review

The Elements of Islay are a range of whiskies from Speciality Drinks, a sister company to the known The Whisky Exchange shop, that represents different Islay distilleries. Each Islay distillery is represented with a symbol, a chemical element like code, like Lg for Lagavulin, Lp for Laphroaig and so on, and the whiskies are bottled either as single casks or as small batches (5-20 casks).

But now there’s a new addition, and it’s not representing any new Islay distillery, although I’m sure we’ll get to see Gartbreck and Ardnahoe in the future. This time it’s a blended malt (or vatted malt for old time’a sake) and it’s called “Peat” so the full name would be “Elements of Islay Peat” (or is it the other way around?)

It’s an interesting addition, as Speciality Drinks also has the Port Askaig range and there’s already a NAS peated Islay whisky in this series, the Port Askaig 100 Proof. Indeed, the Port Askaig is a single malt and this one is blended malt, but I bet there’s a huge chunk of that distillery in “Peat” as well.

Peat – Elements of Islay (59.3%, 50cl, £34.95)

peat elements ofislayNose: Starts out with some whiffs of young spirit which turns into big malt note, huge pile of BBQ meat, surprisingly not a lot of vanilla, cereals porridge, lemon, smoke, feels very fresh & kicking. After a few minutes, there’s some heaviness to the nose and it gets oily while revealing at the same time coastal saltiness and grapefruits.

Palate: Cask strength FTW! Heavy and thick with cured BBQ meat, grapefruits on grill, sweet peat, chimney smoke, ashes, and a strong earthy feel. Apples and lemons pies and toward the end charcoal and bitter grapefruits.

Finish: Long finish with salt, ashes and charcoals, sweet fruit and lemonade.

Thoughts: Peatheads, this one is for you. An easy drinking whisky which I can foresee many wondering how come the bottle is empty after a drinking session with a friend or two and the price is just fine. It has a serious curbed peat backbone accompanied by maltiness and fruitiness. As for Port Askaig 100 Proof, I fear that Speciality Drinks kinda cannibalize it with this “Peat” release as it feels more mature and with extra depth. Not that I can complain on a new good VFM whisky.

(Official sample provided by Speciality Drinks)

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