Wednesday, 29 January 2014

An Indie Rocker: Smokehead, The Rock Edition

The Grammys have been and gone, once again artificial electro-pop took the top gongs and it's time for hardened rockers and lovers of all things analog to take a stand. Of course, the best way to take a stand is to get a nice fire going (not in an arsonist way) and sit back with a good book or in the company of great friends and a heavy smokey whisky.

Smokehead is an independent bottling of an Islay malt that embodies the heavier side of whisky. The tube is adorned with a smoking skull made up of adjectives for the malted contents. Smokehead again laughs in the face of convention with it's bottle label - an almost non-entity with the majority being on the reverse of the back label making you squint through the whisky to read it. Everything about this bottling is different and damned cool, making me want to chuck on some metal, and stick two fingers up to the man!

On the nose, Smokehead is really massive, and full of the typical Islay power chords: the salt, sea, medicine, iodine and seaweed. However there is added depth in a fruity richness, raisins, caramel and the slightest hint of mint. This is a wonderfully layered nose that would appease many an Islay fan - it's definitely a heavy one that keeps on giving.

On the palate the Smokehead follows through on the offerings from the nose - the salt comes through with a hit of spice, the medicinal qualities fade, before the sweet and the heat settle in, providing a nice long finish. This is a real warming whisky that has everything that you want from an Islay malt - it is big, and wonderfully polished and finished.

This isn't the most deep and complicated whisky ever made, but it's a really nicely rounded, balanced and powerful example of the Islay style all tied up in wicked branding that really suits, and is perfect for getting over the post-Grammy blues or for listening to your favourite metal album.

Smokehead is available to all rock and metal lovers from Master of Malt at £33.43 - it's no longer available direct from Smokehead, so get some while you can!

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