The absolute best thing about getting a whisky Advent Calendar is getting to try whiskies that you wouldn’t normally reach for, so it’s thanks to the Really Good Whisky Company that I can pour myself a generous dram of this Islay Single Malt whisky.
Smokehead seems to have a bit of a Marmite effect on people, not so much for the quality of the whisky but the fucking horrible Cypress Hill Album cover they plaster on the bottle and tube, I happen to love Cypress Hill I just don’t think skulls and vaguely stoner name is well placed on a bottle of Islay Single Malt, and I’m not the only one.
I first bought Smokehead when it was about fifteen quid off a bottle in Morrisons and it was both a really enjoyable dram at a great price, I think even at the RRP it’s a decent enough bottle but this is something different, this is a sherry cask matured offering though and comes with a price to match, this is nearly sixty pounds for a non aged statement whisky, sherry cask and Islay or not it’s going to have be very good to justify this price tag.
Bottled at 48% with no mention of added colouring that I can see, it’s from an un named distillery on the Island.
This for me, like pretty much every sherry cask whisky I drink no matter the ABV needs water, it did though settle in the glass quite quickly.
This review is based off one large dram a full bottle might produce different results which I think is important to mention.
Nose. Like walking along a windy beach, one which has several fires going on. Crumpets roasted over an open fire, smothered with salted butter and damson jam, chocolate and burnt ham (which isn’t a bad thing).
Palate. Lots of candy floss and barbecue, are smoked raisins a thing? If they aren’t they should, treacle, salted barbecued pork covered with honey that’s just about to burn.
Finish. Ooft, what a lovely ending, spiced apples, toffee, smoke and honey.
This is very good dram, I took all of these notes from the basis of one decent dram which I nursed for a couple of hours, it’s brilliant this, the bottle is still a nightmare but a very very good liquid inside.
In terms of value for money? Well it’s a lot but for someone like me who could drag a bottle of this out for five years then yes, this is quality.