This is an NAS single malt from an undisclosed Islay distillery. This brand comes from Ian Macleod's company, who's portfolio includes, Isle of Skye, Glengoyne & Thamdu among others.
Like most of these type of releases there's much speculation on the origin of the casks for this whisky. Many speculate that this is a vatting of young casks of Ardbeg that don't quite meet the company's standards. Let's see.
Nose: Smoked herring, damp cellar, creosote, it leans towards Ardbeg or Laphroaig heavy smoke. Salt, a smidge of vanilla, a little mercurochrome nothing else...maybe salt ham.
Palate: Acrid, earthy, sharp, kelp, oysters, beach bonfire, latex, milky, peat reek.
Finish is all on ashes, saltpetre, brine.
Good uncompromising stuff, all oily fish, milky/latex and ashy smoke. It ticks off all the peat freak boxes, don't look for subtleties. I like this it's very honest.
I haven't had the pleasure/displeasure of Kelpie,I haven't had many of the Committee releases and none of the more recent ones, the enjoyment/value doesn't seem worth it, not while the 10 and Oogie are so good.
As for this Smokehead, I actually like it's simple effectiveness, in Quebec it's too close in price to Laphroaig 10 (only 6$ less) to consider seriously purchasing, I think for UK/EU supermarket prices it makes it more of an actual budget option.