To peat or not to peat? June 2024 Box

Peat can be a divisive theme amongst whisky lovers, with strong advocates for and against the smoke. Here at the Dram Team, we’re frequently peat-free, but often find ourselves equally and inexorably drawn towards a well-rounded peated whisky that offers a lot more than just a mouthful of smoke. So, in this set, we’ve paired up some smokeless Scotches with peaty partners, to show you the very best of both worlds. A smouldering slàinte mhath! – The Dram Team

To peat or not to peat? June 2024 Box

Annandale, Man O'Words Double Oak 2017

Self-described as "(hopefully) sane scientists-cum-business people", Annandale’s founders, husband-and-wife team Professor David Thomson and Teresa Church, used unparalleled scientific rigour to design two unique house spirit styles. Man O'Words is the name for their unpeated spirit. Here, it was matured for 6 years in a Woodford Reserve "Double Oak" bourbon cask.

Tasting notes 

Cooked and fresh apple, sweet caramel, barley sugar, sawdust, biscuity & malty.

Annandale, Man O'Swords Double Oak 2017

Our second Annandale showcases their peated malt, under the Man O'Swords title. This non-identical twin to our first dram provides the perfect opportunity to compare and contrast their two spirit styles. The Double Oak casks are heavily toasted and lightly charred, producing caramelised wood sugars and creating a soft, sweet oak character. Enjoy exploring how it works both with and without the smoke!

Tasting notes:

Dried fruit, steeped raisins, fruitcake, herbal, ash, wet embers with a sweet, ripe fruit background.

That Boutique-y Whisky Co., Glen Garioch 18 Year Old

Our Highland pair starts with an independent bottling of a classic Highland single malt from Glen Garioch. Boutique-y released just 179 bottles of this expression, and at over 50% ABV it delivers intense fruity, spicy Highland highlights.

Tasting notes:

Nose: Barley sweetness, orange blossom and apple crumble with cinnamon and nutmeg spice, followed by toffee, marzipan and nutty oak.

Palate: Apricot-filled pastries, vanilla pod and brown sugar combine among stewed dried fruit and stem ginger.

Finish: Toasted oak, nutmeg and hazelnut.

Seaweed & Aeons & Digging & Fire, 17 Year Old

Our peated Highlander is an intriguing dram: From an undeclared distillery, it stands out from the rest of the "Seaweed &" range, all otherwise sourced from Islay. Highland peat is heathery and sweet in character, without the coastal, medicinal stylings of Islay malts.

Tasting notes:

Nose: Woody cloves and warm tarmac, with charred pineapple and nectarine. Apricot fromage frais follows with vanilla, polish, and ashen, meaty peat.

Palate: A powerful tangle of sooty chimney, herbaceous peat, and old oak. Smooth dates and chocolate salted almonds, with savoury Parma ham and biltong.

Finish: Coastal bonfire embers smoulder while smoked herbs grip vanilla wafers. There's spice, but under a silky soft layer of stone fruits.

Dramfool, Bunnahabhain 15 Year Old

We hop over to Islay now, but start out without a drop of smoke in sight. Along with Bruichladdich, Bunnahabhain is one of two of Islay's more famous distilleries whose signature spirit character is entirely free of peat. Islay-fiends Dramfool here showcase how well Bunna pairs with sherry casks, with this hefty cask strength Pedro Ximénez-matured beauty.

Tasting notes:

Nose: Bursting with figs, prunes, plums and toffee. Delicate jasmine and lavender proceed notes of sea spray and barnacles. A green note of basil and tomato leaves.

Palate: Lighter red fruits, with toffee and Muscovado sugar. Sea salt and hints of jasmine and lavender.

Dramfool, Red Bag #2 17 Year Old

Our second Islay and second Dramfool might be the most special whisky we've ever put in miniature. Even the most anagram-averse whisky fan should be able to deduce which iconic Islay distillery this "Red Bag" release harks from. This single cask tribute to the original and much-revered 17 year old distillery bottling is a true stunner, and we're thrilled to be able to share it with you!

Tasting notes:

Nose: Seed and mineral oils, with herbal sage and a little bit of cured pork, followed by floral hints.

Palate: A tropical melange, with pineapple, mango, papaya, and banana. Citrus notes join adding contrast.

Finish: Moderately long, with peat smoke developing more and more. Sweet notes remain.

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