Big Peat Christmas 2013 - 54.9%
Nose: Huge wafts of tequila and it smells much creamier than the standard Big Peat bottling. That said, there is still soap, twigs, smokey bacon crisps and peat (of course!) here, but it's not as pronounced as the original. It certainly has a much more mellow nose and I also get hints of banana and lime as it sits in the glass.
Palate: Sweet chilli sauce, fiery chopped red chillies, peppercorns, charcoal and honey.
Finish: Creamy with white pepper, lemon rind, burnt wood and a hint of milk chocolate.
Big Peat Small Batch - 50%
Nose: Toffee apples, bitter lemon rind, fresh ginger, salt and a bit spicier than the Christmas edition - which I really like. Aside from that, all the wonderful Big Peat aromas are present and correct. Wonderful.
Palate: Lovely and smooth - just sit back and let those waves of sweet peat wash over you. Bliss. I also get lots of honey and white pepper here, along with salt and dry, burnt wood.
Finish: Warm and spicy, but it's also smooth and honeyed. Those smokey wood notes cling to the inside of the mouth for an eternity and it's all wrapped up with a liquorice twist.
Notes: Another huge thank you to Mr Ben Cops over at Ben's Whisky Blog for sending me these two samples. I'm a huge fan of Douglas Laing's Big Peat standard edition and these two are simply sublime. Both have those unmistakable Big Peat characteristics, but build on them in different ways. While I was tasting both of these drams, I had a glass of the standard edition close by as my reference point and there was definitely different things going on in all three glasses. Lovely, lovely stuff.