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Smokehead Extra Black 18 Year Old

Average score from 3 reviews and 8 ratings 91

Smokehead Extra Black 18 Year Old

Product details

  • Brand: Smokehead
  • Bottler: Unknown
  • ABV: 40.0%
  • Age: 18 year old

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Smokehead Extra Black 18 Year Old

Smokehead 18 year old was like a smoke sauna in the middle of a swamp somewhere northerly. Immediately I smelled and felt burnt wood that quickly faded away and gave me strong peat. Wet forest peat by a river or a sea.

Smokehead 18 yrs has richness in it. It's not as characteristic as some of the "big boys" of smoky drams but it surely is rich.

In the other hand it's dark, like a Finnish sauna or the Finnish film called "Sauna". Yet it's colourful with fruits and earthly like a wet, peaty forest.

Smokehead Extra Black 18 year old is rich like the steam generated by a good sauna, a smoky one. Try it if you can!

Nose: At first, like a great smoke sauna because of the strong 'burnt wood indoors' sensation. Tarry with hints of honey and citrus starting to raise their heads as the smoke fades away.

Taste: Smoke is there but it's not as intense as in the nose. Peat is strong and sweet. Bit spicy as well with the citrus feel still there. There's something tropical in the taste. After water added it gets even sweeter and starts getting some earthly tones as well.

Finish: Sweetness disappears, spices clash with oak. Two drops of water made it bitter.

Balance: Good dram! I'd prefer it to be smokier but then again, it might loose some of it's richness(?). And I know, it still is smoky.

I can recommend it but you'll have to be quick, price is rising pretty rapidly (over 100 euros @ Master of Malt already). Fortunately whiskisite.nl had a nice discount in their latest "peat november". I got mine with 75 euros from there.

I would like to try this and the original Smokehead


Color: Gold

Nose: Sweet Smoke on first whiff, then oh sweet smoked bananas in maple syrup arrive! (and a bit of other tropical notes I can’t put my finger on) I didn’t expect that one at all. What a wonderful surprise!. Some honey, and citrus and also vanilla on top of this wonderful banana split of a nose. The Peat is not very strong as expected by an older expression as this one.

Palate: Initially sweet, then bitter with tons of smoke and peat that attack your palate. There is also something spicy going on. The feeling is much more aggressive and strong than the nose would suggest. The smoked bananas are also evident on the palate.

Finish: Long, bitter, Smokey, peaty, ending on oak , burnt embers if coal. Textbook Islay finish. Sweetness is all but gone.

Summing it up:

What can I say? I am in love. A wonderful nose, with a great palate, those tropical fruit / bananas did that for me : mixing so well with the smoke and peat. Very complex, interesting, well aged Islay dram. Nothing short of greatness. This presents a real dilemma: Is this dram worth the extra £20 or so premium over other aged Islays ? Is it that good?

I think it is. £85 is a lot of money, but it’s really a premium malt, and for that amount you are getting an awesome dram, nothing short of that. I guess Ian McLeod could have saved us a few £’s if they chose a more humble casing, and not that black coffin of a box. Also they could have reduced the costs of branding and making the bottle stand out with its black paint and designed fonts, and other marketing features.

Bottom line : I want it. It made its way right into my top 5 wish-list. I intend to get one sometime soon.

On the wishlist

Don't you just love surprise drams like this one!


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