Big Peat Christmas Edition 2017 (54.1%): Since the weather in Los Angeles never allows us to feel true Christmas vibes even during Holidays anyway, I don't see any reason why I cannot pop up a Christmas themed bottle in the middle of May... Especially after finding it at this price... According to its label Douglas Laing & Co. Ltd's Big Peat 2017 Christmas edition contains whiskies from Ardbeg, Bowmore, Caol Ila and Port Ellen and like all the other Christmas editions it is bottled at cask strength.
Color: Almost clear... Very pale lemon chiffon with thick legs.
Nose: Young, very young... Noses way younger than any other Big Peat releases I had before and it is kinda beautiful. This is exactly how the still room of a distillery producing heavily peated spirit would smell like when you walk in: Sweet, oily, tart and smoky... This particular nose is very Ardbeg(esque) actually: New make spirit, cold ocean spray and olive brine. Malt vinegar, cold pear compote and fireplace smoke. Plastic shopping bags and a newly opened box of latex gloves. First aid kid: Iodine tincture, hydrogene peroxide and gauze pads. Why do I love nosing young Islay whiskies so much..? I can nose this for a very long time... Adding a few drops of water makes it a tad perfumy. I definitely prefer the nose without water.
Palate: Yes it still feels very young... Salted cod, aquavit and watered down honey syrup. Diesel fuel and salted butter. Baked savory goods: Sausage rolls and straight out of oven warm croissants... Even at this abv I didn't think of adding water. Despite its young age it is very drinkable actually. I have to admit that adding water calms it down quite a bit and definitely makes it more approachable but it doesn't add anything or enhance any of the flavors. It just makes it easier to drink... I still think it's better without water.
Finish: Long with white pepper, lime flavored mineral water and new make spirit. Oily and buttery texture.
Overall: This is definitely the youngest vat of any Big Peat batches I ever tasted and I am absolutely loving it. I know it won't be everyone's cup of tea, even for peat freaks. But it is vibrant, textured and most importantly very interesting... Raw, young, tart and edgy. I personally feel very good now that I actually own a full bottle.