Whisky Focus - Big Peat Christmas 2021

Big Peat Christmas 2021

23rd September 2021
Douglas Laing unveil their Big Peat Christmas 2021 Cask Strength limited edition.

Big Peat Christmas 2021Well here it is, the annual sign to whisky drinkers that summer is coming to an end and Christmas is now on the way, Santa's helpers at Douglas Laing's Glasgow workshop have been busy vatting and bottling and have now unveiled this years peaty festive offering, Big Peat Christmas 2021 Edition.

Big Peat Christmas 2021 Edition is offered at natural cask strength, 52.8% ABV, and as you would expect it is without colouring or chill-filtration, this year’s festive release is said to be "packed with earthy, leathery, ashy charm, balanced by a wonderfully warming sweetness".

The Limited Edition launch rounds off a big year for the cult Islay Malt, a year that has seen Big Peat take home a Gold Award at the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Awards and the Master Medal at the Spirits Business Awards. These awards, the family say, are “testament to the quality offered by our carefully-crafted, high strength Blended Malt”.

As always you would be hard pushed to find a more festive looking bottle to give a Islay whisky lover as a Christmas gift, this year the Big Peat Christmas edition is packaged in a lustrous icy-blue gift tube with gloss-varnished snowflakes, the gift tube carries bespoke illustration depicting the iconic bearded fisherman riding a sleigh on his island home of Islay. The festive candy-striped red and white bottle capsule that has become synonymous with this annual Christmas release completes the premium gifting Whisky.

Fred Laing, Chairman of his family’s firm, comments: "Our family business is truly grateful and pleased to know that our Big Peat Christmas bottling has become something of an annual ritual for other Islay Whisky-loving families all over the world. It is so heartwarming to receive messages from keen consumers for whom opening that special bottle of Big Peat Christmas marks the beginning of the festivities with friends and family. At the figurative helm of our family sits Big Peat himself – and so, from our family to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas indeed."

Available from September you will find Big Peat Christmas 2021 available from specialist online whisky retailers such as The Whisky Exchange and Master of Malt usually priced around £53.

Big Peat Christmas 2019 Review

Note that this is a tasting note for the 2019 edition but in my experience these festive releases have been consistent in their big peaty quality.

William Morrison's Tasting Notes:

Nose: A deliciously enticing gristy Islay mix of salt, lemon citrus and peat smoke. Some sweet vanilla which is kept in check by a salty edge. The peat is gentle but at the same time screams Islay.

Taste: Demerara sugar sweetened creamy vanilla leads and is quickly followed by a mixed blend of Big Peats oily Islay peatiness which has a lovely liquorice edge.

Finish: Long, peaty oils tinged with liquorice and a little vanilla slowly fades out.

Comment: Big Peat is not the peat monster some would expect given its name, it certainly offers up a big helping of peat but what it is big on is quality, and this is another quality well constructed, cask strength peaty dram which given its festive packaging and what's in the bottle I would be more than happy to find it in my Christmas stocking. I would say that a mix of Ardbeg and Coal Ila styles have the biggest say here, another very enjoyable peaty dram.

SMW Whisky Score 88/100

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