The Peat Monster by Compass Box (Review)

The Peat Monster by Compass Box (Blended Malt Scotch Whisky Islay Highlands BarleyMania Tasting Notes)

A monster does not necessarily have to be a gargantuan behemoth that rages and stampedes day in, day out. It can also be a more refined and evolved creature – like the Alien in Ridley Scott’s eponymous sci-fi classic or the Pale Man in “Pan’s Labyrinth”. Or The Peat Monster 
by Compass Box! Despite its brute name, this classy blend of peaty Islay malts (Laphroaig, Caol Ila) and smoky Highland whiskies (Ledaig, Ardmore) has a lot more to offer than just a plenitude of phenols. Sure, there’s a good dose of medical smoke and earthy peat in this bottle. But that is by far not all. If you examine this bonafide specimen further, you will soon discover that it also has a maritime character, a woodland complexion and even a sweet side. In the case of the Peat Monster, the motto “Peaty, smoky, complex” is not just marketing blah-blah. It is a pretty spot-on description of what this whisky is like!

by Tobi

Eye: Pale moonlight shining down on the moors.
Nose: This monster is covered in a cloud of medical peat, most likely produced by the dominating whisky in the recipe – Laphroaig. Once we are inside that cloud, we also get to smell the moss on the critter’s scales, the wood underneath its claws and the salty swamp water from which it has risen. When the Peat Monster snaps at us, we notice the lemon zest and burnt pastries that it had for breakfast, too.
Palate: A highly fascinating creature! It almost seems as if each of its many tentacles was dipped into a pot with a different flavor. One is smoky, one is peaty, one is herby, one is sweetish and one is slightly bitter.
Finish: For its last roar, the Peat Monster opens its jaws wide and long. Its breath is full of coal sacks, bonfire twigs and grapefruit slices. Interestingly, it also becomes quite sweet towards the end. Do these honey and treacle notes come from the Highland malts in the mix?

Type: Blended Malt Scotch Whisky
Region: Scotland
Age: NAS
Alc. volume: 46%
Bottle size: 0.7 litres
Price range: ~45.00 Euro
More info:


    1. Thanks a lot. It was also great fun writing these notes and squeezing some monster and horror film references in there. Which Compass Box expressions have you tried so far and which of ’em are your faves? Personally, I REALLY like their whiskies and have yet to try one that doesn’t appeal to me.


      1. With Compass Box you’re always spoilt for choice, but by far the best I’ve tried was a whisky called ‘The Last Vatted Malt’. Managed to get a taste at a whisky festival in Glasgow in 2011, but of course it’s impossible to find nowadays. Of the core range, I’d have to go with either Hedonism or The Spice Tree, but like you said it’s all good stuff!


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