Peat & Sherry Elements of Islay (TWE Exclusive)
God knows many have tried, but it is hard to really classify single malt whisky in terms of style. However, I feel you could say that intensely sherried whiskies are on one end of the spectrum, while heavily peated whiskies are on the other. I find it interesting to note that these two styles also often work perfectly together.
I would actually say that peated, sherry-matured whisky is actually one of the quintessential flavour combinations in single malt whisky. To me it works more often than it doesn’t. Even when a sulphured cask (yuck!) was used for maturation, it sometimes genuinely harmonizes with the peat influence.
No wonder that Elixir Distillers have a range of whiskies called simply ‘Peat & Sherry’, consisting of Islay blended malt whisky matured in sherry casks. Just recently they released this exclusive bottling for The Whisky Exchange, of which only 402 bottles are available.
Peat & Sherry Elements of Islay (56.8%, Elixir Distillers, 402 bts.)
Nose: Vegetal peat with notes of barbecue smoke and crisp bacon, followed by a whiff of cocoa powder, but also burnt rubber and liquorice. Slightly coastal too. Fairly balanced and rich.
Taste: Lovely sweet arrival with a thick mouthfeel. Bits of charcoal and ash, followed by sweet peat and soft notes of rubber, but also more of that barbecued bacon. There’s a few soft spices, highlighted by nutmeg and pepper, as well as raisins.
Finish: Lingering peat smoke and subtle spices.
Is there a combination in whisky as foolproof as peat and sherry? Let me know, because I’m hard-pressed to think of one. This works very well, once again. If you like this type of profile, you can’t go wrong. Available here.
Sample provided by The Whisky Exchange
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.