Dun Bheagan 8 (Islay)

Looking at the reviews posted so far, you’d think I’m the type who is easy to please—I mean, most whiskies are B+ or higher! Well, there is a selection problem there, of course. Because I’m a grad student (in Ontario, no less,) the whisky budget is small, and the prices are high. Thus, I usually research every potential purchase heavily, and as such, there is a high probability that I will enjoy what I buy. Perhaps that’s what makes my bar tastings the most honest, as I usually just jump into what they’ve got, and don’t have time to look up what the bloggers are saying.

Well, after such a preface, this is a review of a whisky I did not research. It is also, coincidentally, a review of whisky I did not particularly like. However, research may not have helped, as a post-purchase perusal of the notes by the folks at LAWS found that they rated this one a B-, far kinder than I. (Despite their being so harsh on so many whiskies I love so dearly.) I purchased this whisky on a whim, as I was at the LCBO and decided I’d like to have a bottle at the office to be classy like Jack McCoy. It must look very classy, sitting there on my shelf, so amber… and so full.

Nose: Peat x 3. This is pretty much what you’d expect, yes? Medicinal notes. Earthy, smoky, but it isn’t as ‘organic’. It’s as if they had a shaker of peat that they sprinkled into it. Not an astonishing nose, but nothing to suggest anything terribly unpleasant.

Peat: Medium oily. Peat, smoky–but burnt sticks… not really a favourite smoke. Concurring with Adam@LAWS. Some cinnamon.  Mildly sweet. It’s somewhat ashy, but in an unpleasant way. Come to think of it, it reminds me of the McClelland 5yr.

Finish: Peat, slightly sweet, some more unpleasant ashes. Medium-long (though, this is one I wish wasn’t…)

Grade:  D+

Perhaps I’m harsh on this one, but being as this dram received my ‘love of peat’ bonus, and still underperformed comparable price-point drams like The Glenlivet 12 and Glenfiddich 12, I think a grade in the D+ range is warranted. Moreover, it falls dangerously close to the D classification because there are a few occasions where I pour a sliver, and after a few sips wish I could pour it back in the bottle. As always, YMMV. In fact, Chris and Adam of LAWS have found this dram to be a B- with their rather critical (or perhaps, more normally distributed) palates. That said, their batch was bottled in 2008, whereas mine was bottled in 2010. A lot can happen in two years.