Spirit Review: Smokehead Whiskey

2016-11-30-22-28-34
Name:
Smokehead Whiskey
Type: Single Malt Whiskey
Origin: Islay; Scotland
ABV: 43%
Price: $48.99 at the Wine and Cheese Place

This next review is a little bit ahead of when I wanted to actually review it. I was planning on posting a review of a well-known newer cigar brand this week but between the schedules of my wife and I and those particular cigars somehow disappearing (in wafts of smoke…and me ordering/waiting on more), I thought this might be as good of time as any to write about this newly discovered spirit. Found on my ‘grown-up’ shopping trip awhile back, this scotch intrigued me, as I am always willing to give any attention to anything from Islay. For those unfamiliar, the scotches typically found from Islay are heavily invested in smoky, peaty flavors. The description of the Smokehead doesn’t hold back either:

Like a cannonball – an explosive rollercoaster of peat, smoke and spice with some delicate sweetness.

We’ll see about that…

smokehead_2

The packaging of the bottle is a bit more in your face than nearly any marketed whiskey I can think of, so they can definitely say it stands out from all the bland boxes and bottles that make up my favorite section in all liquor stores. The color of the whiskey I thought was a light gold color, made a few hues darker than the table it was sitting on. The nose on it gave me really only two flavors: peat (I would hope so) and some sort of saltiness or sea water. My first tastes gave me mild smoke, peat, toffee and a touch of spice right on the front of the palette. The middle of the palette, after a couple of sips, gave me mellowed sea water right in the middle to back of the tongue. The finish on the Smokehead played with aftertastes of mild spice and that toffee-like flavor from the front of the palette. All in all, I found the flavor profile to be enjoyable.

And while I enjoyed the flavor profile immensely, my complaint on it is personal. I’m conditioned in years of experience in brands like Laphroaig, Ardbeg and Octomore (and their various expressions), all of which are much harder hitting on the palette. I find the flavors from the Smokehead start out fast and quick then mellow soon after. It’s also less ‘medicinal’ than the three brands, which would make it much easier for those who are new to Islay scotches.

Finally, because of the bolder starting flavors from the Smokehead, my recommendation for pairing this with a cigar would be to find a medium-to-full bodied smoke with moderate spice flavors. The cigar I paired with this at time of review was the Sobremesa by Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust and the combination was wonderful.

Final Score: 8.5/10

As always, thank you very much for reading and I look forward to the next time I can share my thoughts with you.

Jon Siddle

Jon enjoyed his first premium cigar in 2004. Before becoming a founding member of Leaf Enthusiast, he contributed to Cigar Spy before becoming a regular on Tiki Bar Online.

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