Before winter is up here in the Mid-Atlantic, I’m going to talk about a little whisky from my favorite style to sip on in the wintertime – Peated Scotch. Thus my review today of one of my favorite blended malts, Compass Box Peat Monster. Peat Monster is a blended malt Scotch, meaning that it is comprised of only single malt whiskies, as opposed to most blended Scotch whiskies which are comprised of both malt whisky and grain whisky. Despite its name, Peat Monster is hardly a peat-bomb. It is comprised of peated whiskies, some heavily peated and some lightly peated, from all over Scotland, not just Islay. It is non-chill filtered, naturally colored, and bottled at 92 proof (46% abv).
The nose is absolutely brilliant on this whisky, with a good ashy, Caol Ila peat coming together with full, fresh oak, salty sea spray, and big vanilla. There is a nutty, earthy peat going through the nose, too. It just leaps out of the glass and has great balance between the peat and sweet. Unfortunately, I don’t think the palate holds up to the nose. The palate is medium-bodied with medicinal, rubbery peat, a bit of smoke, and some spicy sandalwood. Those sweet notes from the nose don’t quite follow all the way through to the palate in the full force they possessed at the outset. The finish is medium-long, elegantly peaty with twinges of vanilla.
If you are looking for a warming whisky to sip by the fire, but one with great balance between smoky and sweet, then look no further. It is all too often that single malt drinkers are afraid to spend money on a blend thinking they will be sacrificing quality because of the input of multiple distilleries. Compass Box makes a host of whiskies that prove this is not the case, and Peat Monster is very much in that realm. My grade: B+. Price: $50-60/750ml. At its price point, Peat Monster competes very well with other smoky base malts, like Laphroaig and Ardbeg, and the juice in the bottle stands right there as well.