Douglas Laing's Big Peat is a Blended (as we have to call them now) Islay malt containing spirit from Ardbeg, Caol Ila, Bowmore and, shockingly, Port Ellen. Not as full-on as the name might suggest, but with pedigree like that at this price Big Peat is a nailed-on winner. Picked up the top prize in its category at the World Whisky Awards 2010. Whisky Bible 2011: Scotch Vatted Malt of the Year; 96 Points
I'll be honest and say that I'm not experienced enough to make out the Ardbeg notes and the Port Ellen creeping in and shoving the Caol Ila aside to say hello, but this is lovely. It's so oily, half of it clings to the glass! It reminds me of Kilchoman machir bay, with a savoury biscuit kind of thing. I get Tarmac and and burnt rubber tyres but that's ok, it's not a negative! It's a quality and enjoyable blended malt that has the best label ever.
- En robot, 12 days ago
Excellent whisky for the money. A real classic amongst vatted malts IMO.
- Jim, 23rd June
I love Ardbeg, Caol Ila and Bowmore. I haven't tried Port Ellen yet due to the high price tags but trust it is also an Islay great. Blend them together at 46% and bottle it without chill-filtering and the result, as expected, is fantastic. This is a really approachable and enjoyable drink at a very reasonable cost. I will look out for a bottle of the cask strength limited edition.
- The Colonel, 6th May '13
I have sadly just finished my bottle of Big Peat - what a dram!! Such a big peaty, smoky smack in the face! It smells great, has a lovely, natural peely-wally hue, is rather chewy, and has a nice long, satisfying finish.
Don't be put off by the vatted, no-age element to this bottled campfire. When asked to recommend a whisky, this tops my Islays.
- Martin Smith, Ayrshire. , 16th Apr '13
46% that will do me thought bush mills was peaty
- Davy runciman, 17th Feb '13
I simply love it, though i thing Ardbeg Uigeadail is much more rich.
- Eric from France, 22nd Dec '12
Wow simply amazing..love it
- bob , 18th Jun '12
Wow - simply amazing... it's like Ardbeg, filtered through peat and then mixed with Port Ellen, Bowmore and Caol Ila... and filtered through peat... to quote Jim Murray from another whisky review...mmmm, the peat...aaarghhh, mmmm, oooh!
- CK, 23rd May '12
This whisky really grew on me, I was glad to let that happen. When I first tried it it tasted skunky to me ...but in a good way. I persevered and was rewarded with a very complex and tasty whisky which is unlike
any other I've tasted. I'm a jaded peathead and it is now in my repertoire when I want that Islay fix.
- smokinjoe, 20th Nov '11
Although I like most of Islay malts, this was a bit disappointment. Very young indeed, rough and sweet-sour. And that omnipresent sweetness, like a exceptionally bad Bowmore... still better than Smokehead.
- Mikko, 7th Nov '11
I really love this whisky; it really is a lot less scary than the name might suggest...taste it, blind if possible...label just a little lurid; really really really good stuff though it's not overly heavy and there is definitely a bit of something mature in there....watch out for the new Christmas release, barrel strength and might need a li'l very clen water..
- anonymous, 1st Nov '11
As a big fan of Islay Malts I was pleasantly surprised by this Islay blended malt. I must admit my choice would have usually been a 17 year old Bowmore or even an Ardbeg for that matter, over almost anything else but this "Big Peat" is realy growimg on me. Thoroughly recommended, you won't be disappointed.
- Robbo from Yandi W.A., 25th Sep '11
to the anonymous writer of the 13th August(see below).....you were disappointed that BIG PEAT was too peaty to enjoy......did you not read what it says on the label??......what else do the words BIG PEAT convey??
- wee Fred 26th August, 26th Aug '11
a bit young for my taste, not bad at all but could do with a bit more age, maybe in 1/4 casks, which would add some nice sweetness. then it would be perfect. 7.5/10
- anonymous, 1st Aug '11
I tried a 20cl bottle of this for a taster, to see if it would do for when I couldn't afford Lagavulin, Arbeg etc. Pleased to say it's wonderful, only snag it's a little bit too more-ish. Excellent balance, highly enjoyable. I'm going for the big bottles in future.
- Bloody Gus, 1st Jul '11
This one scored high points in my recent blind tasting. Surprisingly good for a blend.
- anonymous, 28th Mar '11
Bought the 20cl bottle of this from the WE a couple of months ago and certainly didn't disappoint on the peat front! I love that peat element (Islay is my favourite) but even I felt the flavour was a little overwhealming. Mellowed nicecly with a splash of water, though, which means I still have some of my 20cl bottle. Result!
- FM, 2nd Mar '11
Excellent one. Just tried it yesterday and it is outstanding
- anonymous, 5th Dec '10
I had this one in Ullapool and I am hooked! The aftertaste reminds me about liquorice and chocolate in a way (which I am both a fan of) as well as the smokiness
- Maya, 2nd Dec '10
By far the best blend I have ever tried.Very smooth, yet complex and with a hearty wack of peat. Easy drinking and highly recommended.