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Compass Box The Peat Monster


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@OdysseusUnboundReview by @OdysseusUnbound

14th Jun 2019


Compass Box The Peat Monster
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

I've been drawn to heavy, guitar-driven music as long as I can remember. From Metallica, Guns N' Roses, Slayer, Pantera, and even AC/DC, louder was always better when I was learning to play.

Looking back, AC/DC seems tame compared to some of the heavy music that has come out since. Even compared to Metallica, the Aussies seem good-natured and fun. While "For Those About To Rock" was anthemic, it was never as threatening or aggressive the way Metallica's "Battery" or "Master Of Puppets" was. At least not to serious metalheads. Don't get me wrong; AC/DC is a terrific rock band who puts on a terrific live show, but their music is only "heavy" compared to Willie Nelson or Frank Sinatra (both of whom I love, btw). Compared to heavier bands such as Metallica, Slayer, or Pantera, AC/DC is a little "light". What am I on about here? Well, a whisky named "Peat Monster" may seem intimidating to those who aren't used to peat, or don't know much about whisky, but most seasoned peat-heads (metal-heads?) will find this to be a very friendly monster.

Tasting notes

  • Nose: smoke, peat, butter, meaty, bacon, honey, lemons and red apples
  • Palate: medium-bodied, slightly waxy texture, honey, brine, Oolong tea
  • Finish: medium length, ashy peat returns, very buttery, fresh croissants, more fruitiness, apples, sweet, vegetal Oolong tea turns to dark espresso with black pepper lingering

With water: aromas of strawberries and cream as well as graham crackers pop out beneath the smoke, there’s more honey on the palate and the finish is a bit brighter. Interesting both ways.

Compass Box's Peat Monster is more AC/DC than Metallica. It may come across loud and aggressive to the uninitiated, but it won't blow the seasoned peat-head away. And much like AC/DC's guitar tones, there's a lot of midrange here, but not as much amped-up drive (or peat) as some might think. That's not to say it's a bad whisky. It is very enjoyable and the fruitiness offsets some of the peatiness for a "balanced" whisky experience. It's also bottled at 46% abv, is unchill-filtered and is sold at natural colour. There's a lot to like here.

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Jonathan commented

Is this the new peatier one?

4 years ago 1Who liked this?

RianC commented

@Jonathan - Would like to know also but guessing it's the older one as I've still not seen the new version on open sale in the UK yet?

I like the ACDC reference @OdysseusUnbound. I think the line, in musical terms, is about there for me, any heavier and I feel it looses some of the melodic nuances (which is partly the point I guess?). Not like peat though - I like that all the way to 11!

4 years ago 1Who liked this?

Hewie commented

@RianC completely agree with @OdysseusUnbound and you on the analogy. That's one reason why I love Campbeltown so much.

4 years ago 2Who liked this?

OdysseusUnbound commented

@Jonathan Not the newer one, the older bottling.

@RianC I don’t listen to heavy music as much as I used to, but I still thought the analogy was apt. I still like my peat to “go to eleven”, but I also appreciate more moderately peated offerings.

4 years ago 1Who liked this?

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