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Big Peat

the closest to Port Ellen...

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@NozinanReview by @Nozinan

2nd Aug 2016


Big Peat
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

When my brother offered to bring back some stuff from England on a stopover, I took the opportunity to check out the online shops in order to see if I could land one of my modern Holy Grail whiskies, Benromach 100/10. I settled on Master of Malt because it was considerably less expensive with shipping charges. Because he and his wife could each bring back just over a litre, I had to see if I could find some minis or samples (I got some “drinks by the dram”) to make the most of his generosity. They happened to have this in a 200 cc size (official bottling, not MoM sample). I have a bottle of this that I found at the LCBO but I haven’t opened it yet and 200 cc is the perfect size for a small tasting or to give as a gift.

This bottle was opened on May 22, 2016, at the Ontario summit. Even so, it was about 70% full when I gassed it and it has stayed closed since then as far as I am aware. According to the label it is not chill-filtered. The etched batch marking on the bottle is L02 03 15 // 7 08:17 BB

This expression is reviewed in my usual manner, allowing it to settle after which I take my nosing and tasting notes, followed by the addition of a few drops of water, waiting, then nosing and tasting.

I rarely comment on colour of whisky but this one is so refreshingly pale I can’t help but assume that no caramel has been added.


Neat – Dry peat, some rubber. I asked my daughter to sniff it and tell me what she smelled like a sandy beach with “stuff” (by which she meant seashells and stuff). My son could not specify but said it smelled “strong” and made his nose feel tingly. Slightly over-toasted rye bread crust. Wet (but clean) Elastoplast woven bandages. I think I get a hint of Port Ellen (yeah right). 21/25

With water – No significant difference in the nose… maybe a hint of lemon.(21/25)


Neat – Slightly thin mouthfeel. I would have expected it to be oilier given the nose. Sweet, some chocolate, then hit with peat on the development. Not very complex, but quite smooth (neutral descriptive comment, not an endorsement) and pleasant. 22/25

With water – feels a little richer on the tongue, the peat hits the palate just a little sooner on the arrival and the chocolate is very prominent. More menthol(23/25)

Finish: A light sour note. The flavour of the finish is medium to short, but then my tongue feels like an ash tray. 21/25 With water, the ashtray is cleaner and a little menthol on the finish. (22/25)

Balance: Excellent balance between the nose and the palate. A little thin, but a pleasant dram. 21/25

This one, sipped after Trader Joe's milk Chocolate, imparts a hint of coffee. It seems to work.

Score: Neat - 85/100 With Water- 87/100

I like this, a little more with water than without. I admit though, that this is probably suited to a cooler season of the year.

I’m glad I have had a chance to try it, because something tells me this is likely as close to tasting Port Ellen as I will ever get…

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maltmate302 commented

Another good review @Nozinan. I haven't tried this one but I do have a bottle of the Big Peat Christmas Edition 2014 . I do like the stuff quite a bit but I don't think I'll be getting another one, there are many others I'd prefer to spend my money on. As for the Port Ellen component, I actually think that there's less than a teaspoon per bottle in there, it wouldn't make economic sense to put in any more.

7 years ago 0

Nozinan commented

A teaspoon per bottle? I would think it's more like a tablespoon.....per batch!

7 years ago 0

Victor commented

Big Peat? The various samples I've tried of of it over the last several years have always tasted ok, but sort of generic. It is not one which has drawn me to wanting a bottle of it.

7 years ago 0

Nozinan commented

I believe you tried this one when we opened it at the summit. I think I like the idea of it more than the actual whisky. But it's nice to share with friends who haven't tried it.

7 years ago 0

Victor commented

@Nozinan, did you ever have any Johnnie Walker Double Black? That one just makes me laugh, but I like it. It's just over the top in a typically unbalanced but very entertaining way.

7 years ago 0

Alexsweden commented

I've had this one a couple of times and I agree. A nice enough whisky but nothing spectacular. A very maritime malt I thought.

7 years ago 0

Nozinan commented

Yes, definitely maritime @Alexsweden, if you take my daughter's words for it. Maybe I should save some for 10 years and she can taste it too. ;)

@Victor, I have tried the double black once. I don't remember it being memorable....

7 years ago 0

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