Bruichladdich PEAT Review

on Mar 31 in Scottish, Single Malt Whisky by dan

Quick Poll:

Ice or No Ice?

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I’m sat here, being a relative newbie to the whisky world, pondering one of the greatest questions to plague man-kind since… well since 1778 when William Cullen invented the refrigerator at the University of Glasgow (very fitting).

To Ice or Not to Ice?

It would seem to me that its kind of a ‘Big Deal’ and apparently some people get quite excited about their opinions.

Personally. I damn near dropped my wallet and pissed myself laughing when I was offered a “Tear Drop” of water with my whisky. However it now seems I am the fool as it turns out that bar “the nobody inn” is some kind of legendary Mecca for Whisky Connors especially in Devon.

“Whisky pub of the year” – The Good Pub Guide 2008 and Finalist, Best Country Pub, Devon Life Magazine 2007.

So now I feel it’s important to put the ‘ice or no ice’ question to the test. For the purposes of this I’m going to use a whisky i’ve never tried before: Bruichladdich PEAT Islay Single Malt.

Bruichladdich Whisky

Bruichladdich PEAT Whisky

Testing Bruichladdich PEAT

So the test will go like this:

  1. Taste some Bruichladdich PEAT ‘au naturel’
  2. Try Bruichladdich PEAT with ‘Tear Drop’ of water
  3. Try Bruichladdich PEAT with some Ice
  4. See what all the fuss is About
  5. Tell you

Bruichladdich PEAT review time

Room temperature, in a proper whisky sniffing glass, PEAT smells as you would guess, peaty. Peaty in a meaty, olive and artichoke way I’ve never come across in a whisky. I’ve actually had posh pizza smell like this with slighty burnt ingredients on top.

Tasting it the finish is a peat bonanza with strong Smoked burnt wood flavours. It starts surprisingly sweet moving into nice dry clean warm notes an then slowly and gently into those strong smoky flavours which lasts a good long time.

‘On the burp’ to use a beer phrase, you get more of that smoked bacon, meatiness which is very very nice. I’ve never tasted anything like it but I’ll surely try this one again as it’s very very good and unique to me so far.

PEAT whisky with a little cool water

With the water in there is only a small change in the nose, but it is noticeable, there seems to me more of the middle dry malt flavours coming through. Not much more though. If anything the water helps the smell spread out a little and be slightly less compact… if that makes sense?

The water seems to have moved the smokieness closer to the front of the drinking experience making it arrive sooner but in less intensity.

PEAT whisky with a little ice

Adding a cube of ice an swilling it around chills the whole glass and instantly cools the whisky.

This has had the opposite effect on the nose than the water, it brings out the sweet notes completely relaxes the smoke and brings out the bacon in the smell.

The ice kills the opening of this whisky and shifts the flavours right towards the end. It now starts watery and sea weedy and then on to gentle smoke and sweet glazed honey and pepper ham. I’m not going to lie, that even sounds weird to me, but have a go end see yourself.

So, yes ice does make a difference to whiksy

My conclusion: Explore every whisky you have this way! I managed to unlock some really interesting flavours from this fantastic whisky from Bruichladdich. I wonder what I’ve been missing in other whiskies I’ve tried.

Try it yourself and tell us what you get out of this experiment.


  • James says:

    I always have a cube with any Islay Malt , stops your eyeballs going blam when you take a sip and, to me, draws out the finish. I also love the transition from ice cold to warmth as it goes down!

    • Dan says:

      There is something to be said for letting some ice melt down slowly, creating the different consistency and taste until you get to the point where you might aswell top it up or smash it down. I tend to knack the lot.

  • Bastion says:

    I’m glad you put this together! I always sip my whisky straight and then add a few drops of water about half-way through (though I’ll sip it any way it’s served!) so it’s not only cool to see a critique of iced whisky, but specifically of a single expression prepared all three ways. Keep this up!

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