Peat Monster Tenth Anniversary Limited Edition

Peat Monster Tenth Anniversary Limited Edition Bottle Shot (Photoshop)
Peat Monster Tenth Anniversary Limited Edition Bottle Shot (Photoshop)

Ten years ago, a very small production, (only enough to supply an independent liquor store in New York City) of a smoky, peaty, beastie of a Scotch blend was created for individuals with fiery palates. It was an experiment to see if people who liked their Scotch smoky would embrace a blended whisky made from different peaty single malts. A curious, wee monster inspired by a 19th century illustration adorned the label. And lo and behold, the customers at the store drank it all up! Its creator, Compass Box Whisky, decided to continue making more to keep all the thirsty people with peaty palates happy, not just those at the store, but enough to go around.

To ensure deliciousness, Compass Box Master Blender, John Glaser, refined the blend of single malt Scotches, improving on the last with each release.

For its tenth anniversary, Glaser decided to reward us with a treat, as well as bring the monster illustration on the label to full color glory. However, there is only so much to go around this time. Rooooooooarrrrrrrrrrrr!

The blend consists of malts from Islay, focusing on the southern part of the island and village of Port Askaig. This time they also wove in some older Highland malts to add richness, and a malt from the village of Brora, to add fruitiness and body. Finished in first-fill and refill American oak casks, with a small percentage of French oak for that  je ne sais vanilla flavor.

You would think the result would be the biggest, baddest, most ferocious Peat Monster of them all. However, it seems the Fiery One is maturing with age, and learning to pick its battles.

Nose: Burnt sugar, brown butter, flaming orange peel, campfire, charcoal, mesquite barbecue, clove, allspice and a hint of bananas and vanilla.

Palate: Very full bodied and viscous, Oolong tea, with more sweet, fiery flavors, warm spices, that telltale Islay rubber, slight taste of lavender, some golden apple and a bit of honey in the finish. It’s brinier on the tongue than in the nose. But conversely, the peat smoke actually seems stronger in the nose than it does on the tongue.

If you aren’t a fan of smoky Scotch, best skip this one, for it does indeed live up to its name. However, fans of the peat will appreciate the layers of flavor, which don’t merely attack the palate in a single blast. Instead, the nuances reveal themselves a little more with each sip, unfolding like a fan about the tongue and playing off the aromas wafting from the glass.

Happy birthday, Peat Monster! You cute, big, fiery thing, you!