Smokehead Single Malt Islay Whisky 43% ABV

smokehead whisky tasting

Smokehead is a single malt islay whisky. Sourced from an unknown distillery, it is bottled by Ian MacLeod – the owner of Glengoyne and Tamdhu distilleries, the Isle of Skye blend and the man behind the ongoing rejuvenation of the dormant Rosebank distillery.

Smokehead was developed in 2006 and intended as a whisky brand for a younger audience, hence the skull branding and ‘no compromise, gritty’ feel of the website.

Smokehead Single Malt Islay Whisky 43% ABV, NAS, Chill filtered & coloured – £37 apx Smokehead is a single Islay malt from Ian Macleod distillers. The debate has raged over the identity of the distillery which supplies the whisky for Smokehead.

Appearance: Apple juice amber, very summery. Average legs, quite oily and viscous.

Nose: What hits me immediately, other than the obvious smokiness, is how sweet this whisky is on the nose. It smells like there’s some sherry or port influence. Actually, it reminds me a bit of Lagavulin Whisky.
I’m pleasantly surprised by the nose if I’m honest. I wasn’t expecting it to be so appealing and well balanced.
Lots of stoned fruits for sure, some more tropical fruits too. Getting the meaty side of things now. Bit of citrus freshness, Quite briney too. The smoke is there but doesn’t mask the other aromas in any way, I like it!

Palate: Surprisingly delicate on the palate. The sweetness is still there, with the smokiness. Buttery and malty. ‘New-makey’ berries too. For a heavily peated whisky it’s actually quite summery. Lot’s of sweeter honey and berry notes.
Good balance of smoke and sweetness, lots going on and not overpowering ethanol getting in the way. I guess, as it’s aimed at the younger market, it has to be fairly inviting and easy going.

Finish: Bit of black pepper and maybe clove during the finish, which is medium. There’s also a slight minty side taste going on too

Overall: A pleasantly surprising whisky. Easy to sip and very well balanced, flavoursome dram!

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