Smokehead is a brand owned by Ian Macleod Distillers and everything you need to know about this dram is in the name.
It hails from the beautiful isle of Islay and captures both the rugged coastal surroundings, as well as the regions’ renowned peated characteristics.
The brand propels Whisky in the 21st century, with a fresh feel and eye-capturing look. Its stark black and orange label stands out against the typical mundane Whisky packaging.
This latest edition, known as the Rock Edition, seeks to make that packaging jump out even further by featuring a debossed skull on the tin made up of the adjectives that describe the liquid inside.
It embodies the smoky Whisky almost literally and represents the peated punch you’ll experience once you get into the bottle.
Islay is an island well known for it’s peated and seaside flavours and if you were every looking for a definitive example what that would taste like then Smokehead should be your go to dram.
The nose hits you like smoke from a bonfire. It is thick and fuzzy, with a wonderful citrusy flavour underneath.
Lemon and ginger pop-out under the dull tang of the peat and grab your attention, giving this expression a nice depth and fullness.
The smoke curls around some oak wood tones and the charred condition of the barrels is more than obvious. Again, this only serves to give definition and depth to the rich peat.
These flavours are joined on the palate by hints of sherry and ripe orchard fruit. Imagine caramel covered apples with a dusting of cinnamon and enjoyed beside a beach fire. That is the essence of Smokehead.
The peat is strong and completely unavoidable but allows for the sweet and spicy tones to make an appearance. It also gives a delicate warmth to the mouthfeel
The citrus and ginger flavours give a nice edge to the palate and are mixed with a handful of dried fruits. These go along perfectly with the sweet sherry flavour that comes through.
The finish continues along the same vein, with lots of peat and a nod towards fruity sweetness. It is dry and the smoke lingers just long enough to be truly savoured.