Our third Burns Day malt (all of which I purchased at Scotch Whisky Auctions, by the way) is a blended malt from Douglas Laing called Big Peat. Many of you are familiar with that, but this is a small batch, cask strength limited Christmas Edition, an annual release (this one is from 2013). The component malts are all from Islay and include Ardbeg, Caol Ila, Bowmore and Port Ellen.
The colour is a very pale straw. On the nose there is crisp clean barley, lemon curd, flaky pastry and....wait for it....peat, lots and lots o' peat. Not so much smoke, but peat. Strong, medicinal, herbal and floral. Lots of cereal notes. Let's add water....oh, there's the smoke! And mint. This is extremely young, and fantastic.
On the palate there is, of course, more peat but also lemon tart, buttered croissants and sunflower oil. Actually, this is very oily - cooking oil, machine oil, cod liver oil. Tamer on the alcohol burn that you might imagine. Water brings out the malt very nicely. Yummy!
The long finish is very citrusy with sage and thyme - a little chalky. I don't get huge complexity out of this, but I do get a great harmony of flavours. It's very warming, completely delicious and if you are a peat head, indispensable. Dominic Roskrow scored this a 93 and awarded it Best Blend/Blended Malt at the Whisky Advocate Awards - I can see why.
Really good review @talexander ,even though I haven't tried this particular batch I have tried the 2014 version and your review is very close to what I get from that expression.I love the lemon curd note I think that comes from the Caol Ila.I wouldn't mark the 2014 at 92,more like 87-88.Still a great blend for the money!
Thanks @maltmate302 - I really like the standard Big Peat, but this Christmas Edition is pretty amazing - I'd love to try all of them!