Whisky of the week – Smokehead Islay Single Malt from Ian Macleod distillers.

It may not be as explosive as its high octane cousins but this is no shrinking violet of a dram.
Bottled at 43%, this amber Islay single malt scotch whisky is a bold expression of the modern distillers craft. It does what it says on the label.

It’s smoky, It’s complex. It’s outrageous. If not as nuanced as the more recognisable Islay malts, it’s a multi-layered assault on the senses. It packs an intense punch and the crafting of a range of Islay malts into such a pneumatic experience is a credit to the distillers art.

Tasting Notes:

The Nose: thick peaty smoke, salty sweet, toffee, seaweed

The Palate: Has someone spilt some diesel? Powerful peaty smoke, oak, treacle-toffee
Mid Palate:   peat, light smoke, cask, toffee, tannin

The Finish: strong, dry, salty tannin, long peat balanced by treacle-toffee.

With ice

The Nose:   light peaty smoke, salted toffee, sweetness,

The Palate:   sweet burnt sugar, peat, light smoke, shades of oak
Mid Palate: mild and light

The Finish:   quick and smooth, sweet peat, pinch of salt.

As the sun goes down, this is a great dram for those who tend towards peaty Islay malts. I favoured it with a couple of medium ice-cubes. The meltwater releases a hidden complexity balancing sweetness and smoke, salt and seaweed, pepper and peat.

It will certainly clear your sinuses, that’s for sure.

Roadtested at the Clachaig Inn, Glencoe, Scotland.