[Experiment] Islay peat experiment

To some people, peaty whiskies are disgusting and they all taste the same. So tonight I decided to have a closer look at peaty whisky, Islay drams in particular, to see if the peat taste is the same in the many different bottles available. I therefore tasted 5 (small) drams one after the other so see how they compared. I have personally always enjoyed peat but I do tend to take my time with each dram and do not always spend an evening solely with peaty whiskies, hence the idea of sampling several whiskies side by side. I went for 5 bottles which are pretty much the entry dram from each of the 5 distilleries:

Bowmore - 12, 40%
Caol Ila - 12, 43%
Kilchoman - Machir Bay, 46%
Lagavulin - 16, 43%
Laphroaig - Quarter Cask, 48%

Here is what I found out after my 5 samples:

Bowmore: The peat is quite sweet and fruity with hints of exotic fruit.

Caol Ila: The peat is warmer and saltier (the saltiness of the dram is what struck me since opening it!)

Kilchoman: As the whisky is younger than the others, you get fresher, younger peat. more active with notes of charcoal and cereal.

Lagavulin: The oldest dram, and I can tell. The peat has mellowed a bit, it is rounder more rested somehow, still with cereal and fruity notes.

Laphroaig: More pungent and medicinal peat, with cereal notes as well as TCP and even hints of BBQ bizarrely (not something I have really picked up on when drinking on its own, full review to follow soon!)

The idea wasn't to do a full tasting with complete tasting notes of each dram but more a first impression, sampling them all in about 5 minutes to really find out the main traits of each of them. I did enjoy trying this out as it was for me a completely new way of experiencing different whisky flavours! Worth giving it a go if you have a few bottles with apparently similar profiles...


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