Type: Malt blend
Origin: Islay, Scotland
Duncan & Taylor are “independent bottlers”. This means that they do not distill spirit to make whisky. Instead, the company buys casks of whisky from distilleries and they bottle the whisky which they buy. Duncan & Taylor’s The Big Smoke is a blend of different malt whiskies from the Scottish island of Islay.
Nose: Pouring this whisky into a large brandy balloon, a honeyed earthy smell fills the room. The filled glass smells of vanilla, powdered chocolate, caramel and barley. The peat smells leathery and grimy, like a sooty fireplace and grill stained with barbecue sauce. This may be young whisky, but it hits the spot!
Taste: Surprisingly palatable for a whisky at 60% alcohol by volume, the mouth-feel is slightly oily. Honey and apple is gradually lost to a smog of smoke, rubber and salt.
Finish: Salt, charring and smokiness lingers, just like after biting into a rasher of burnt and blackened crispy bacon. The taste of burnt spicy barbecue sauce remains.
Overall: Feel like raw young peat with lots of burnt and char grill notes? Well, you are in luck. The Big Smoke 60% is likely to be your ticket to culinary satisfaction. Suddenly, I feel like a rack of ribs.