Nose: Not surprisingly, the nose is a huge burst peat and marine notes. Very salty and sea-foamy, with citrus, smooth malt, and hints of peppermint and lavender soap.
Palate: Oily mouthfeel, with salt first. Next there’s a big, heavy, rich wave of peat. There’s some lovely vanilla that begins to shine through as well, followed by oysters, petrol, grass and peppermint.
Finish: Long and semi-sweet. Seawater, smoke, smoked fish, oysters, spicy ginger tea, lemon cough drops, and finally more peppermint.
Thoughts: This is such a classic big-flavoured Islay kicker. Very intense and vibrant. It’s not as refined as some other cask strength Islay offerings (Laga, Ardbeg, etc). No, this is not a distinguished dram to be deconstructed and over-analyzed. This is just a well made and straight-forward whisky designed for sipping and enjoying. The folks at TWE say this “is a whisky capable of bringing joy to the most jaded peathead.” I’d have to agree, this is so easy to like. I challenge you to pour a dram of this and not enjoy every moment of it.