Merry Christmas, dear BarleyMania readers! I hope you all have a good pour put aside for tonight. As in the years before, I will enjoy a dram of Big Peat’s annual Christmas Edition on December 24. After all, the holiest of nights would feel incomplete without a visit from my favorite Ileach. This time, however, he brought along a little (eight-legged) friend: a teeny-weeny spider living in Cambeltown’s fabled grottoes The Gauldrons. The two mark a wonderful pair. While Big Peat’s Christmas Edition 2019 is sweet n’ green n’ smoky, The Gauldrons Batch 05 is savory n’ zesty n’ milky. And they are both super palatable!
Big Peat Christmas Edition 2019
(Remarkable Malts • Blended Malt • Islay • Oak casks)
He is big-hearted, he is bearded and he comes visiting every Christmas Eve. Of course, we are talking about Big Peat! His newest Christmas Edition opens with a grassy, woody and smoulder-y nose. It has drift wood, moss, tobacco, bonfires and bacon-wrapped dates. Plus flake pastry garnished with mushy fruits of yellow and orange color. The palate is rather “green” at first with nettles, bok choi, sunflower seeds, whipped cream, sweet chestnuts and – obviously – a shovelful of peat. The ABV is spot-on and the smoke is sweetish and perfumy. For an Islay malt in cask strength, the liquid is rather light. Towards the end, the Big Peat Christmas Edition 2019 becomes more festive with delicate pistacchio creme and apricot jelly. Thank you very much for this gift, Big Peat. It is ho-ho-honestly awesome!
The Gauldrons Batch 05
(Remarkable Malts • Blended Malt • Campbeltown• Oak casks)
Once or twice a year, Douglas Laing releases a new batch of its blended Campbeltown malt The Gauldrons – usually, it gets released around Halloween. The latest instalment of the series will hit the market soon. It smells of soft camomile tea, mushy peaches, burnt vanilla sauce, crunchy banana chips and a bit of citrus zest. The initial sip is fresh and citrusy. After a while, the whisky becomes milkier. It is full-flavored with creamy lemon cake, sugared moccachino, minty cough drops, juicy grapes and – further back – some mineral notes. Once swallowed, the spirit gets a wee bit smoky. But the layer of ash that surrounds the other flavors is very thin and fragile. In it, there are yellow fruits, vanilla pods, cookie dough and clammy cellar walls. This is the fifth time that Douglas Laing’s itsy bitsy spider came out of its cave – and this is the fifth time that it carried with it a scrumptious Campbeltown pour!
Big Peat Christmas Edition 2019 (Blended Malt / Islay / NAS / 53.7% / ~55 Euro)
Rock Island 10yo (Blended Malt / Campbeltown / NAS / 46.2% / ~55 Euro)
Douglas Laing @ Web: http://www.douglaslaing.com/ (Blender)
Bremer Spirituosen Contor @ Web: https://bremerspirituosencontor.de/ (German Importer)
Big Peat @ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bigpeat/ (Islay Blended Malt)
The Gauldrons @ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dlthegauldrons/ (Campbeltown Blended Malt)
*** Whisky samples kindly provided by Douglas Laing & Co. ***