Whisky Reviews

Smokehead

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Smokehead is a single malt Islay whisky, distilled by… I don’t know, actually, it’s a bit of a secret. Popular guesses include Lagavulin and Ardbeg, I’m personally not sure which one I lean more towards. Whoever distils it, it’s young, I can tell you that much.

From the design of their bottle and website, it is fairly clear that Smokehead are trying to attract a younger audience, and I’m all for it – it’s a great way to introduce younger whisky drinkers to a decent single malt rather than letting them run to the Bourbon/Sour mash shelf in the shop. They’ve also teamed up with the Scottish BrewDog brewery (who have a similar mission, but with beer), who released a Smokehead version of their Paradox stout in 2008.

That doesn’t mean that an old fool like myself can’t enjoy it though, and I do. The nose is really thick at first, though it appears to thin out as you adjust to it, like a cloud of smoky dust. Unsurprisingly it is packed with peaty smoke, ashy charcoal and seaweed, but there are also hints of grapefruit zest, honey, vanilla and perhaps a touch of dried fruit. The first impression on the palate is sweet cocoa drizzled in honey, but it quickly shifts to hit your unsuspecting taste buds with peaty charcoal smoke, pepper and salty seaweed which in turn mellows out into a slight fruitiness before re-emerging. It reminded me of lapsang souchong.

Color:  Classic golden yellow.

Nose: Peaty smoke, ashy charcoal, seaweed, grapefruit zest, honey, vanilla and dried fruit.

Taste: Cocoa, honey, peaty charcoal smoke, salty seaweed, slight fruitiness, lapsang souchong.

I would definitely recommend giving this a try if you enjoy a smoky Islay whisky such as Lagavulin or Laphroaig.

Want to buy this whisky? Available in: UK & World (click)

About Whisky Critic

My name is Martin and I live in Scotland. I love fine things in life, such as gourmet food, travelling around the world and, last but not least, whisky (naturally, I’m partial to a tipple of whiskey or bourbon as well). I have tasted hundreds of whiskies during the recent years and I finally decided to share my experience.

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