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Douglas Laing Big Peat Fèis ìle 2020 8-Year A846

48% ABV - Islay, Scotland

Nose: Heavily peated, diesel, peppermint or pine, citrus, and a really pleasing—rather sweet—background smoke.

Taste: Lots of upfront ..sweetness? Develops quickly into a smoke bomb, nice thicker mouthfeel, with orchard fruits—borderlines tropical fruits—rounding this out.

Finish: Fading smoke, chili peppers, charred wood, ginger, smoked meat, more peat smoke… this one is going to last for a while.

Douglas Laing has a collection of wonderful (affordable) blends and the Big Peat series is definitely my favourite. Having bottles of Big Peat is a great addition to my library of whisky (the collection is nowhere near the size of a library, for the record). I particularly like them because I get to taste the many different ways that peat smoke expresses itself; vegetal, earthy, rubber, barbecued meat, smoke, bonfires… they’re all good in their own ways!

This Big Peat Fèis ìle 2020 was tasted side-by-side the Fèis ìle 2021 and Christmas Edition 2020. If I had to guess, I’d say that an odd cask of Bowmore is the dominant flavour profile—but that heavy peat is real and I can’t tell what Islay distillery matches this profile.

Tasted 27 October 2021. (Posted 07 June 2022.)

91/100
Detailed Rating Information...

90+: Fantastic whisky; highly recommended. My favourite whiskies. I might have more than one bottle if the price is right and the supply is limited! The higher values in this range will reflect a stronger balance and consistency between components.
85-89: Great whisky; recommended. Whiskies that really tick the flavour boxes and you'll likely hear about these from me. Good purchase decision—I would consider buying again.
80-84: Very good whisky; recommended, but still consider trying before you buy. Anything is this range or above I would order at a restaurant or make a calculated purchase decision.
75-79: Good whisky; consider trying before you buy. These are whiskies that I enjoyed drinking, but likely would reach for another bottle from the shelf or select something different to order.
65-74: Average; consider trying before you buy, but not recommended. There is nothing that stood out about this whisky and I might be inclined to add ice, mix it with soda, or use it in a cocktail, instead of trying to enjoy its own flavours.
50-64: Bad; not recommended.


Whisky Bottle