Big Peat – Small Batch Vatted Malt Scotch Whisky

Thursday 19th November 2009, the day after we tasted the Douglas Laing’s bottling of the 11 Year old Macallan, so Jim and Dougie were still in the mood for another special tasting and this taster size bottle of Big Peat was supplied by our ‘new best friends’ up at Douglas Laing & Company ( was right up our street.

Now Big Peat is Douglas Laing’s new small batch “vatted malt” from Islay, and we think it is a direct replacement for Clan Denny Vatted Malt Scotch Whisky from Islay.(which Jim and Dougie have both got a bottle or two of Clan Denny, still awaiting a tasting).

But what exactly, you may ask, is a Vatted Malt? It is what the Scotch Whisky industry has traditionally called “a marriage of Malts”. Such vattings often form the heart and soul of a blended scotch whisky (which carries the lighter tasting grain whisky , to soften matters).

The Islay Malts included in this dram are Ardbeg, Bowmore, Caol Ila and Port Ellen and is non-chill filtered at 46% Alc/vol.

“Islay Malts” we hear you saying, well as you all know Island and Coastal Whiskies, especially Islay’s are all Jim and Dougie’ favourites. So as you would expect this tasting was not going to be a burdon.

Well lets get on with the tasting.

Big Peat a Small Batch Vatted Malt Scotch Whisky 46% Alc/vol Non-chill Filtered. Bottled by Douglas Laing & Co, from Glasgow.

Colour…Deep Amberbig-peat-vatted-malt-whisky

Dougie’s tasting

Nose…Caramel and vanilla, but with water treacle toffee comes out.

Taste…Peat with more peat heaped on top, cinder toffee covered in dark, dark chocolate.

Finish…Long, dry and earthy.

Jim’s tasting

Nose…Not as strong a peaty/smoke as expected, but sweet burnt caramel and dark chocolate, but with a little water some of the aromas dissipate.

Taste…Peat is there, smoke does not stay long. Burnt toast from an outside fire, the Islay’s are all there.

Finish…Long and peaty smoothing out a little, showing a little dryness.

As you can see it was only Jim and Dougie that did this tasting, we are still trying to get the third Whisky Boy, Nicola to try and taste more and appreciate some of the ‘heavy’ Malts.

What can we say about anything that comes from Islay, great, fabulous, exciting, wonderful etc. etc. etc.

Jim and Dougie are still not sure about the label, maybe it is time for Whisky bottle images to be more adventurous as this label is. For the traditionalists out there do not let the label put you off, what is inside is such a grand dram, The Whisky Boys will ensure that at least one bottle is in our collection.

Well done Islay and all at Douglas Laing & Co.

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6 Responses

  1. Bob Kyle says:

    Excellent review on Big Peat, We will be ensuring he Immigrates to Canada !

    Have a look at our new Dram & Music Map, might be of interest. @
    Bob Kyle

  2. Jim says:

    Hi, thanks for you comments on our review of Big Peat, hope you enjoyed our website, will keep looking at your site ‘rare drams’

    On another issue , can you help we have one of our readers telling us he has a bottle of Crown Royal with a date on it of 1957 and is unopened, can you give me any details on this or even a value,
    thanks in advance.



  3. Bob Kyle says:


    Sorry to take so long to get back to you re Crown Royal.
    I would like to help, but sorry I dont know too much about this Product Range. Rare drams specifically deals with Single Malts from the Douglas laing and Angus Dundee groups.

    have a guid new year


    bob kyle

  4. That’s funny a couple of days ago I spent $forty obtaining a ebook for some doubt that I had about this topic and found your web page and get more but a lot more for free! I wish I could find it before so anyways thanks.

  5. paai says:

    I liked the Big Peat whiskey, but like the two tasters I am not sure about the label. Wouldn’t have bought it myself, as the cartoonesque drawing looks as if it is a joke whiskey. I got it as a present though and really enjoyed the peaty taste.

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