Smokehead’s newest release brings us back to our time on Islay. At the table of the Ardview Inn at Port Ellen to be specific. At the end of a long day of travelling from distillery to distillery and tasting wonderful whiskies, drenched in peaty flavours, there was only one thing to get ready for another stint of dramming: a cold pint of stout. Fire up the jukebox, enjoy a cold one together and have a look at the whisky menu.
Before we daydream away, let’s get to this Smokehead. We’ve seen some experiments from them in the last couple of years and they never fail to amaze us. The value for money is good, especially for a secret independently bottled Islay malt without an age statement. Rumour has it that Smokehead’s juice comes from Ardbeg, but it’s hard to confirm. We don’t need to know to enjoy it though, because it just is good stuff.
Smokehead Twisted Stout has, like the name clearly suggests, finished on ex-stout casks and is bottled at a gentle 43% ABV:
Full nose of sweet peat, smokey spareribs, strawberries, chocolate mousse and tropical fruits
Gentle on the tongue, with driving waves of sweet peated barley, licorice root, salt and wood, with some refreshing notes of apples and sugary marshmellows
Salty and sweet, nicely balanced with an afterburn of toasted whole wheat bread
We are a fan of the regular expression and not particularly a fan of finishes when the base has everything we need, but… this twist is really done right. It adds another layer, without clouding the Smokehead character. Very well done, now let’s get back to daydreaming.