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“Because you can't buy happiness... but you can buy whisky and that's pretty much the same thing”

Smokehead and other Islay mystery malts

By Miguel in Tasting , Featured , Smokehead

I have been around three weeks without much whisky. First, I got holidays and I have been doing some repairs at home and then I have been out at beach. So no whisky for me during the last 23 days.

fishing-ship-barbate-cadiz

That’s quite a record. And also the fact that I have done while on holidays mojitos using gin because all the rum ran out.

By the way, here is a photo of the beach. A must-visit one at Conil de la Frontera.
conil-playa-cadiz-spain

I wanted to return with something nice and special! So I grabbed my box of samples and voila! I wrongly took the Islay box :) Who of you can say no to a nice peat punch?

So let’s taste the stuff. I just grabbed five drams for my first tasting: three Smokehead single malts and two secret distillery from Islay. One of them with a very nice score from Malt Maniacs.

Smokehead Extra Rare 1L

“Just nosing it you can't get an idea of the peat explosion that is coming to your palate”

89
Smokehead Extra Rare 1l

This dram has a white wine-like color.

Nose (89): more than average. smoke, honey, citrus, wood.

Palate (90): oily. peat, earth, honey, citrus, chocolate.

Finish (89): longer than average. peat, honey, wood.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Smokehead Extra Rare 1l with 89 points over 100.

Smokehead

“Nice secret single malt whisky, almost sure it is a Caol Ila with some bold spices notes.”

89
Smokehead
A un-named single malt from Ian Macleod Distillers, with a big South Islay style. "Its like a cannonball!" say the producers. We like it very much, some of our staff loving it. Great value, attractively packaged, and with all that muscly brawn of a young Islay malt.

This dram has a fino-like color.

Nose (89): more than average. smoke, honey, wood, spices, citrus.

Palate (89): powerful, oily. peat, honey, citrus, wood, spices.

Finish (90): longer than average. peat, spices.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Smokehead with 89 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

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Smokehead 18 years old Extra Rare

“Looks definitively older than the other two expressions of Smokehead and older than 18 years old. A nice old Islay malt for a fair price.”

90
Smokehead 18 year Extra Black
A longer-aged edition of Smokehead, the popular mystery Islay Single Malt bottled by Ian McLeod Distillers. This Extra Black expression is 18 years old.

This dram has a gold-like color.

Nose (90): average. honey, floral, candies, peat, wood.

Palate (90): oily. peat, honey, citrus, wood, spices, cocoa.

Finish (89): average. peat, candies.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Smokehead 18 year Extra Black with 90 points over 100.

Buy this bottle at

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Islay Storm

“Lovely nose with tons of toffee and vanilla aromas. Can I be wrong if I say this is a Caol Ila?”

90
Islay Storm
An Islay single malt from a secret distillery, Islay Storm has loads of peaty character.

This dram has a gold-like color.

Nose (91): more than average. honey, peat, toffee, citrus, spices, vanilla.

Palate (89): oily. peat, honey, citrus, wood, spices, pepper.

Finish (90): longer than average. peat, honey, wood, floral.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Islay Storm with 90 points over 100.

Breath of Islay 12 years old 1999

“Superb delicious stuff! Looks like an old sherried peated Bunnahabhain.”

91
Breath of Islay 12 Year Old 1999 (Adelphi)
This Breath of Islay was distilled at a secret Islay distillery in 1999.

It was aged for 12 years in cask 5877 and was bottled by Adelphi in 2011.
A lovely whisky with an out-turn of 329 bottles.

This dram has a cooper-like color.

Nose (90): more than average. nuts, peat, honey, citrus, wood. This sherry aged whisky smells like some of the best Bunna I have had.

Palate (92): powerful, oily. peat, nuts, honey, wood, smoke, spices. Oh my! The cask strength really does the work.

Finish (91): longer than average. peat, honey, nuts.

So based on other whiskies I have already tasted I rate this Breath of Islay 12 Year Old 1999 (Adelphi) with 91 points over 100.

Yep, definitively Malt Maniacs know about whisky. Breath of Islay is by far the most solid dram of this flight and a very good whisky on itself,

This the beginning

On the following months I plan to start writing about my tasting sessions instead of just isolated bottles. I think it is more fun for both of us. And it is possible because I finally sorted and classified my samples library. :)

I would love to read what you have been drinking this summer.



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