Douglas Laing Big Peat 25 Years Old "The Gold Edition"

Our old pal Big Peat is following Douglas Laing Yula's footsteps with an age statement trilogy. Meet Big Peat 25-year-old "The Gold Edition", an Islay blended malt comprised of Islay’s most sought after single malts.

The very first press release still spoke of the classic names Ardbeg, Bowmore & Port Ellen, yet after an erratum of the press release, no more distillery names were mentioned. Since this is a 1992 Vintage, Port Ellen is simply impossible and adding 25YO Bowmore and Ardbeg to the mix would make this whisky substantially more expensive. So I'm guessing the blend is built with older stock from Caol Ila and Bunnahabhain with smaller amounts of some of the other distilleries.

Anyway, the name Big Peat and the expectation of properly mature Islay whiskies are more than enough reasons to start drooling.

Identity Card Big Peat 25 Years Old "The Gold Edition"

Douglas Laing Big Peat 25 Years Old "The Gold Edition"
  • Douglas Laing & Co.
  • Remarkable Regional Malts
  • 25-year-old blended malt
  • Vintage 1992 - bottled 2017
  • Outturn: 3.000 bottles
  • Alcohol: 52.1% ABV

Tasting Notes

Looks: Typical dessert wine colour. Or a white vermouth with a lovely fatty and oily texture.

Nose: Holy Smoke! Bunnahabhain is the first thing that springs to mind. And Laphroaig perhaps. Dirty sherry notes. Honey, dates, medicinal notes from rubbing alcohol. Salty sea air and iodine (Hello Laphroaig!). Warm asphalt concrete, vanilla and star anise (Come and join the party, Ardbeg!). Fruity notes from apple, carambola or star fruit and physalis fruit. A lovely nose that deserves time.
With water: Sweeter. A few additional layers of complexity. A platter of seafood. Scallops with a whiff of vermouth infused with orange and aniseed.

Taste: Sweet apples and bananas with a puff of smoke and wood ash. Lots of woody and nutty flavours. Walnuts. Black pepper and smoked oatmeal. More ash if you suck in some fresh air.
With water: Swimming pool chlorine (Hey Bowmore, is that you?). Cigarettes and smoked jalapeƱos.

Finish: Roasted nuts and BBQ meat. An utterly long finish.

Douglas Laing Big Peat 25 Years Old "The Gold Edition"

I'm about to launch a bold and perhaps a premature statement, but this looks like it will be the A Tasty Dram of the Year (all the more since I've made this ridiculous 2018 intention to only buy 2 bottles of whisky). Given its age, Big Peat 25 Years Old "The Gold Edition" is a relatively affordable and superb Islay blended malt. It's the penultimate Christmas dram. Sorry, Big Peat Christmas but you're out.

However since there are only 3.000 bottles around, I'm more inclined to say: "Don't buy it, it's rubbish, old and dusty. Leave it in the store! ;-)

Around €200 at Master of Malt.

Image: Douglas Laing.
Sample disclosure: The Big Peat 25 Years Old "The Gold Edition" sample was offered by Douglas Laing. Opinions expressed in this review are of course my own.